COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, July 13, 2018 – Jack-o-lanterns have roots in Ireland when hollowed-out turnips held candles to keep evil spirits away. When the Irish came to North America, penniless and bereft of their homeland, they still clung to Halloween, carving readily available pumpkins instead of turnips.
Why did Halloween come to be in the first place? Then, what makes Ireland the home of Halloween?
Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland (https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/) shares insights on its upcoming October immersions into the worlds of the Druids of 5,000 BC, the later Celts (2,000 BC) and the early Christians.
Rob Rankin, founder and owner with Amy Rankin, explains: “Iron Age, pagan Druids were superseded by the Celts for whom the Nov. 1 Samhain (pronounced “sah-win” or “sow-in”)marked a new year. At sunset on Oct. 31 the line blurred between the real world and that of banshees and ghosts. Bonfires and scary masks kept away evil spirits. Food left food outside doorways appease these spirits. Colcannon of boiled potatoes, kale and onions welcomed the visits of dead ancestors. Samhain morphed into the Christian calendar as All Hallows.”
Throughout Ireland this mythology is recreated annually. Major events in 2018 include:
Ireland’s Halloween traditions also include:
The charm of visiting Ireland in October, says Rankin, include:
Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland offers two styles of culturally immersive travel. Vagabond Adventure Tours are for active travellers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. Driftwood Journeys of Discovery follow similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion. For October touring, the company recommends these two itineraries:
On all its tours, the Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom 4x4 Land Rover or Mercedes 'Vagatron' that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.
About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland
Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.
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