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Ambassador of Ireland wishes everyone in Japan a Happy Halloween!

Halloween is an ancient Irish Celtic festival celebrating the end of the harvest season


Mr Damien Cole, Ambassador-designate of Ireland, recalls the Irish roots of Halloween. 

“Halloween is an ancient Irish festival that happily in recent years has gone global, including here in Japan”.

“Halloween – or Samhain, in the Irish language, meaning summer’s end – was celebrated in Ireland by the ancient Celts for many thousands of years. The end of the harvest was marked with a special festival of fires, feasts and pagan ceremonies”. 


 Bram Stoker

ブラム・ストーカー・フェスティバル ©Bram Stoker Festival 


Ancient Irish beliefs which travelled around the world

According to ancient beliefs, Samhain is a time when the barrier between our world and the afterlife narrows, and the souls of the dead arise from their graves, wander the countryside and return to their “former” homes. These souls take the form of ghosts, fairies, goblins and demons. Irish Celts would leave out food and drink to keep them happy. People dressed up in scary costumes to blend in with and disguise themselves from the demons; thus attired, they visited neighbouring houses where they were given some sweets and ‘soul cakes’. As Christian beliefs came later to Ireland, these somehow co-existed with many different supernatural beliefs and the festival continued in popularity.

With the great waves of emigration from Ireland over past centuries, Irish people in huge numbers brought these Halloween traditions to the United States and elsewhere, leading to their worldwide popularity. In Japan too, people of all ages have embraced Halloween.


Halloween celebrations in Ireland today

Halloween is still celebrated traditionally in Ireland. In homes around Ireland, children prepare for Halloween weeks beforehand, planning costumes and games. When the day comes, the evening meal includes a traditional cake, Barmbrack with some hidden surprise for a lucky person. A prize such as a ring will foretell a marriage. Traditional games and story-telling provide fun for all the family. Many communities plan a large bonfire for the dark wintry evening. 

Famous festivals for Halloween also take place in the cities of Dublin, Derry and in County Meath, drawing large crowds.

The Ambassador continued: “‘Oíche Shamhna’ is a special night for people of all ages. Even if this year you are entering the spirit of Halloween at home;  and whether or not you are dressed up in a scary costume to avoid the wandering sprits who stalk the land, ‘Happy Halloween’, from Ireland, the Festival’s original ancient home!” 




Further Information:

[Embassy website and social media]

Look at the Embassy’s social media platforms to see traditional Halloween stories, games and recipes throughout the month of October.

Website: http://www.dfa.ie/japan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IrishEmbJapan / https://twitter.com/IEAmbJapan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irelandinjapan

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/irelandinjapan/

Animated Halloween video: https://twitter.com/IrishEmbJapan/status/1583020489588768769


[Halloween events taking place in Ireland]

Spine-tingling festivals in the home of Halloween! As the land of ancient Celtic traditions, wailing banshees, haunted happenings, the creator of Dracula and tricks, treats and festivals galore, the island of Ireland is a bewitching destination at Halloween time.


Bram Stoker Festival (28-31 October 2022, Dublin)

Website: https://www.bramstokerfestival.com/

This October the Bram Stoker Festival returns to Dublin after a two-year hiatus to celebrate Count Dracula and his creator in a weekend of ghastly thrills, spine-chilling spectacles and fun-filled frights. The world’s most famous vampire was the creation of Dubliner Bram Stoker, who was inspired by the city and Ireland’s tales of the neamh-mairbh, the walking dead. 

This year his book reaches its 125th anniversary having given rise to countless films, TV programmes and spin-off stories over the years. Among them is the silent film masterpiece, Nosferatu, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.


Púca Festival (28-31 October 2022, County Meath)  

Website: https://www.pucafestival.com/

Fans of folklore and fun are in for a treat this Halloween as Púca Festival returns.

Celebrating Ireland as the birthplace of Halloween, Púca is an authentic, immersive, and otherworldly festival. Vibrant, fun, and contemporary in feel but strongly rooted in tradition, Púca will take place in festival hubs Trim and Athboy in County Meath.

Working in partnership with Irish artists, seanchaí storytellers, and the local community, Púca will showcase the best in contemporary Irish music, spectacle and performance over three days and four nights in Ireland’s Ancient East.


Puca 2022-1

プーカ・フェスティバル ©Púca Festival‌


Derry Halloween (28-31 October 2022, Derry, Northern Ireland)

Website: http://derryhalloween.com/

This event has become the most exciting Halloween celebration in Europe, with the readers of USA Today voting it as the number one Halloween destination in the world.

Derry Halloween is now an unmissable, bucket list event, with people from around the world – not to mention the otherworld – flocking there to enjoy a spectacular festival fusing ancient myth and cutting-edge culture.


 [Halloween Culture in Ireland]

Spirits and Ghosts in Ireland

Animated videos telling stories of Irish spirits and ghosts were released.

Water Horse: https://www.instagram.com/p/CjMFOBqMkd2/

The Headless Coach: https://www.instagram.com/p/CjeGuvKoeh8/

The Sídhe: https://www.instagram.com/p/CjtjjP8oNRu/

The Púca: https://www.instagram.com/tv/Cj63IXAIepT/

The Banshee: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cj9AQRWo0Nw/


Bram Stoker

The author of Dracula was born in Dublin. His achievements are celebrated throughout the city in Halloween season.

Dublin and Bram Stoker the author of Dracula: https://www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/japan/news-and-events/newsarchive/dublin-and-bram-stoker-the-author-of-dracula.html


Traditional recipes associated with Irish Halloween Barmbrack

Article: https://www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/japan/news-and-events/newsarchive/barmbrack.html

Recipe video: https://youtu.be/65u4bZ5XxC8


Introduction to Halloween food

Article: https://ippin.gnavi.co.jp/article-11543/


Traditional Irish Halloween games

Apple bobbing and snap apple are popular games in Ireland.

Video: https://youtu.be/J-QzSZgXloE


Halloween kids

Samhain at Strokestown House, Strokestown, Co Roscommon ©Sonder Visuals‌















コール次期大使はこう続けます。「Oíche Shamhna(イーヒャ・ハウナ、アイルランド語で「ハロウィーン」)の夜は、あらゆる年代の人たちにとって特別なものです。家でハロウィーンを楽しむ場合でも、地上をさまよう死者の魂から身を隠すため、怖い仮装をするかどうかはあなた次第。ハロウィーン発祥の地アイルランドから皆様へ、ハッピー・ハロウィーン!」





ウェブサイト: https://www.dfa.ie/japan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IrishEmbJapan / https://twitter.com/IEAmbJapan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irelandinjapan

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/irelandinjapan 

アニメーション動画「アイルランド ハロウィーン発祥の地」: https://twitter.com/IrishEmbJapan/status/1583020489588768769






ウェブサイト: https://www.bramstokerfestival.com/



Bram Stoker 2

ブラム・ストーカー・フェスティバル ©Bram Stoker Festival 




ウェブサイト: https://www.pucafestival.com/

アイルランドの民話や楽しいことがお好きな方にはたまらない「プーカ・フェスティバル」。アイルランドがハロウィーン発祥の地であることを祝うこの没入型フェスティバルは、まさに異世界感満載。賑やかで楽しく、現代的な要素がある一方、伝統的な要素もしっかり残しています。主な会場となるのは、「いにしえの東部」の異名で知られる、アイルランド東部・ミーズ県のトリムとアスボイです。アイルランドのアーティスト、語り部(シャナキー) 、地元のコミュニティと共同し、このフェスティバルではアイルランドの現代音楽、あっと息をのむパフォーマンス、そして伝統あるアイルランドのハロウィーン体験を提供します。



「デリー・ハロウィーン」は、アメリカの全国紙『USA Today』が実施した読者投票により「ハロウィーンに訪れたい場所世界No. 1」に輝き、ヨーロッパで最もワクワクするハロウィーンイベントの地位をゆるぎないものにしました。古代の伝説と最先端の文化が融合したこのフェスティバルは、異界からの死者の魂はもちろん、世界中の人たちをも魅了しています。

ウェブサイト: http://derryhalloween.com/ 


Derry Halloween

デリー・ハロウィーン ©アイルランド政府観光庁





ウォーターホース: https://www.instagram.com/p/CjMFOBqMkd2/

首なし馬車: https://www.instagram.com/p/CjeGuvKoeh8/

シー: https://www.instagram.com/p/CjtjjP8oNRu/

プーカ: https://www.instagram.com/tv/Cj63IXAIepT/

バンシー: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cj9AQRWo0Nw/








記事: https://www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/japan/news-and-events/newsarchive/barmbrack.html

レシピ動画: https://youtu.be/65u4bZ5XxC8



記事: https://ippin.gnavi.co.jp/article-11543


Barmbrack PR 2022

バーンブラック ©アイルランド外務省




動画: https://youtu.be/J-QzSZgXloE


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