We had certain foods associated with Halloween. My mother always served us colcannon for dinner. It was a dish Inever really cared for. she used to put a small coin in it until one year neither my brother nor I found it and maybe one of us swallowed it! We had dinner at midday in those days.
For tea, as the lighter evening meal was called, we always had a barmbrack in which there was always a cheap wedding ring and sometimes other objects. The one who found the ring was supposed to get married soon. Nobody believed this but for children there was great excitement. After tea, when it was already dark, we'd go out with our ghoulish masks for what is now called 'trick or treat'.
Again, I never associated any of this with the devil or any such thing.
What I also remember is that on All Souls' Day we would make many visits to the church or cemetery gaining a plenary indulgence for some poor soul in purgatory by praying six Our Fathers, six Hail Marys and Six Glory Bes before going out of the church or cemetery and going back in again, as there was only one indulgence per visit. Some would say this was legalism. I didn't see it that way nor do I now. It was remembering the dead with affection and with care, in the hope that we ourselves would be remembered in the same way eventually.
Halloween: the Real Story!
by Fr Augustine Thompson OP
We’ve all heard the allegations. Halloween is a pagan rite dating back to some pre-Christian festival among the Celtic Druids that escaped Church suppression. Even today modern pagans and witches continue to celebrate this ancient festival. If you let your kids go trick-or-treating, they will be worshiping the devil and pagan gods.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The origins of Halloween are, in fact, very Christian and rather American. Halloween falls on October 31 because of a pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety.
Full article here.