Halloween 2020 activities: Camp at home, visit a fairy trail or view an online festival

Dr Tony Holohan tells children they can’t be moving from house-to-house this year

As a result of the pandemic, trick-or-treating has gone the way of many time-honoured activities which mark the seasons of the year. Photograph: iStock

As a result of the pandemic, trick-or-treating has gone the way of many time-honoured activities which mark the seasons of the year. Photograph: iStock

 

When asked three weeks ago if trick-or-treating was feasible, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said it couldn’t be “a normal Halloween”.

“We can’t have children and families moving from house to house in a way that normally happens at Halloween,” he said.

As a result of the pandemic, trick-or-treating has gone the way of many time-honoured activities which mark the seasons of the year.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has told the children of Ireland that it is a “very unique year” which must be the euphemism of the century and that they can help save lives by staying indoors and abiding by Level 5 restrictions.

She appealed to young people not to light fireworks either as, inevitably, there will be accidents which will clog up emergency departments dealing with Covid-19.

Nevertheless, families in Ireland have sought gamely to enter into the spirit of Halloween decorating their homes and gardens with skeletons, spider webs and bed sheets with eyes cut out of them.

Lighted pumpkins in doorways will ensure that the Met Éireann’s wind and rain warning will not be the only thing orange for Halloween.

Spooky

Google is reporting a 400 per cent increase in searches for Halloween games to play at home.

The 11,000 members of Irish Girl Guides have prepared a Halloween Camp At Home with ideas for spooky games, crafts and activities.

Participants can make a blanket fort under their kitchen table or pile up some cushions in the livingroom to make a makeshift shelter for the night.

An Enchanted Fairy Trail has been unveiled in Dublin’s Mountjoy Square Park as part of the Big Scream Halloween Community Festival which was launched in Dublin’s northeast inner city.

All the festivals taking place across Dublin from the Otherworld Festival in Ballymun, Fright Night in Finglas, Dockers and Demons in the city centre to the main Bram Stoker Festival, can be experienced online.

The Big Scream, an inner-city Dublin celebration of Bram Stoker, will be happening free-of-charge on Zoom (bigscream.ie), while for bigger kids, Wicklow’s Historic Gaol at Kilmantin Hill is planning a number of virtual reality tours this year (wicklowshistoricgaol.com).

Derry, which traditionally hosts one of the most dynamic Halloween festivals in the world, has moved it online to derryhalloween.com.

Even while festivities are cancelled at home, Tourism Ireland will be marketing the country abroad as the “Home of Halloween”. Not only did the ancient Celts invent the festival of Samhain, but Bram Stoker wrote Dracula.

The morning of Halloween will come in stormy and wet, but it should clear by the evening. There will be a full moon at Halloween for the first time since 1955. It’s also the second full moon of the month, known as a blue moon. The next blue moon at Halloween will not be for another 19 years, hence the origins of the phrase.