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October Bank Holiday

Ireland Public Holiday in Ireland

Halloween
The October Bank Holiday usually takes place the day after the clocks go back for winter.

When is the October Bank Holiday?

How long until October Bank Holiday?
This holiday next takes place in 344 Days.
Dates of October Bank Holiday
Year Weekday Date
2020 Monday
2019 Monday
2018 Monday
2017 Monday
2016 Monday
Duration
1 Day
Local Name
Lá Saoire i mí Dheireadh Fómhair
Summary
The October Bank Holiday is a public holiday in Ireland on the last Monday in October

The October Bank Holiday is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland that is observed on the last Monday in October.

History of the October Bank Holiday

After Ireland joined the EEC in 1973, the number of Irish public holidays was lower than that mandated for workers by the EEC.

As a result. this day became a bank holiday in 1977 and although no particular reason was given for choosing the date, the date was probably chosen as it would fall at the same time as the half-term school break, which traditionally covered All Saints' Day on 1st November.

It is interesting to note that there were four Gaelic seasonal festivals, marking key times of the year for agricultural communities. Of these, Beltane (the beginning of summer on 1st May) and Samhain (the beginning of winter on 1st November) were the most important and both these now have public holidays very near to their dates with both the modern public holidays being the two most recently adopted.

The Home of Halloween

Halloween takes its roots from the Samhain Eve, when it was believed that the link between the worlds of living and dead was at its strongest. Some scholars believe that Samhain may have been the Celtic new year.

Many of the Celtic Halloween traditions live on in Ireland today and were brought to America by Irish immigrants in the nineteenth century.

Traditionally an Irish Halloween dinner would include boiled potatoes, cabbage and raw onions. Cleaned coins are wrapped in baking paper and hidden in the potatoes for the children to find and keep.

The barnbrack cake is a traditional part of the Halloween customs. It is a fruitcake that has a rag, ring and coin hidden within. The rag represents a doubtful financial future, the ring represents impending romance and happiness, and the coin represents prosperity. It is believed that the individual that finds the hidden treasure will also find that respective fate.

With the Chritianisation of Ireland, the traditional date of Samhain, 1 November, was the same as All Saints' Day. The traditions of Samhain Eve were allowed to continue, but 'rebranded' as All Hallow's Eve or Halloweve for short. Some consider the later establishment of All Souls' Day (Day of the Dead) as an attempt to replace the Pagan Halloween with a more Christian focused holiday.

Pumpkins and Jack O'Lantern

The legend of the Jack O’lantern also goes back to the eighteenth century.

The legend is that an Irish blacksmith called Jack was denied entry to Heaven after he has was found to have colluded with the Devil. He was condemned to wander the Earth and his only light was a burning coal inside a hollowed out turnip. The villagers believed that placing a Jack O’lantern in their window would keep the damned soul of the wandering blacksmith away.

When the Irish immigrates arrived in America and tried to carry on the tradition they found there were not enough turnips and so they resorted to using pumpkins instead.

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