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post blog Galway

SAMHUINN, MACNAS HALLOWEEN PARADE

Greetings from Galway, Ireland…

I flew to Dublin, and after a two and a half hour drive, I arrived here to discover in essence the root of the festival of fear, the celebration of Halloween… If there is something about the gift of travel, is that you come back with “unlearnings” of those that make you understand beyond the established. Here I have to confess something, my beliefs about this festivity, after attending the Samhuinn festival (from where the whole Halloween theme started), have been reset and restarted again and, if you have patience and dare to continue reading me, maybe the same thing will happen to you…

Before I get into it, I’ll put you in context… “All hallow’s eve” is an ancient Celtic celebration, in which, in the middle of nature, tribute was paid to the arrival of winter and with it, the beginning of darkness…

For the Celts, October 31 was their New Year’s Eve, and on that night something extraordinary happened… The translation of the name they gave to this date is “All Hallows’ Eve” as it is known in Spain, and they called it that way because the veil that separates the physical world from the spiritual world, that night, becomes thinner, and the spirits of those who have left during the year, it is easier for them to go through the portal and visit the other side for the last time.

But when a portal is left open, evil spirits can also enter through it, to roam freely in our plane, a reason that led the Celts, more than a thousand years ago, to make big bonfires and dress up as forest monsters, like creatures out of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, to scare and defend themselves from such evil creatures…
Can you imagine the scene? Women and men, in the middle of nature, disguised as beasts and dancing around the fire, paying tribute to the flow of life and nature? The rite to celebrate the arrival of darkness and stillness (the end of the harvests), you do not have to imagine it, you have to live it and say that: I was there.

In this magical and mystical night, in Galway, I could experience the essence of this millenary pagan rite… I was hypnotized with the aromas, with the dancing shadows that the fire projected on the walls of the city center, with the suggestive movements of those who danced wearing costumes out of the imagination of the forest, with the giant sculptural images moving slowly before your undaunted eyes, with the pyrotechnics and the epic performances choreographed to the sound of original music created exclusively for the event… A real madness… A parade unique in the world, with a different design every year and its own original soundtrack, a must for the eyes of the traveler who longs to devour the beauty of the live show…

MACNAS HALLOWEEN PARADE, is the largest free Halloween event in Ireland, attracting over 70,000 people each year. The Danse Macabre started at 5:30pm from the NUI Galway campus and made its way through Galway city center, wowing the pupils of young and old alike. I felt at one with the atmosphere, dressing up like them (it was rare that I wasn’t dressed up for the celebration) and enjoying a hot drink in my thermos bottle while I waited for the show to start. This year, the celebration in Galway has been cancelled, but I urgently invite you to meet her in the next edition 2022… You have enough time to organize this Halloween getaway, which is perfect, whatever the profile of traveler with which you identify yourself…


Ideal to go with the family and make the little ones discover the true essence and meaning of this holiday… Escape from the archetypes and “Disneylanized” Halloween parties that theme parks have us used to, and travel to discover the truth about this spooky holiday, where it all began.
I, for sure, will repeat.
See more at : https://www.galwaytourism.ie/event/macnas-halloweenparade/ )

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