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Irish halloween musings

Gerry RyanSo I was listening to Gerry Ryan today and, at the end of his show Fiona Looney came on and the two of them began discussing halloween. They mentioned that Ireland has recently adopted a number of very american traditions in their celebrations of the holiday, but they also noted that a lot of what halloween is came from Ireland.

Along that vein, they mentioned a number of older superstitions I’d never heard before. Here are two I remember from the show:

Pulling up cabbage stalk on halloween will show a man the type of bride he will have. For example, if the stalk is short and squat, so will be his wife.

Throwing a veil over a mirror and removing it quickly on halloween shows a girl the face of her husband.

The first is a bit odd, the second creepy; don’t know why those two stuck in my head.

Speaking of Irish halloween, I’ve also been pondering on the Irish way to say “happy halloween.” Well, Irish for Halloween is samhain and I know how to wish someone a happy christmas and birthday, so my guess is that it’s:

samhain shona duit, pronounced “sahwn KUH-nuh dihtch”

When I rang some friends and tried this out I was told that it may never have been uttered before. Hmm, looks like I might have to make some friends in the gaeltacht.