We spent Halloween in Ireland, where the holiday was born, and came away a little unsettled.
The pagan rituals have mostly been replaced, but the frightfulness still resonates powerfully in Ireland. This isn't a holiday for children.
These three girls were asking people for money in a pub before they got chased out by the bartender ("Go on!" he said, not quite angrily. "You can't be in here without your parents!")
stretched to the limit" by the fires and drunken chaos, but nobody seemed surprised. Luckily for us, the wickedest stuff happened after we were in bed.
Ghoulish and bloody costumes were more in vogue than ironic and humorous, but there were some laughing exceptions. Two friends wandered the streets dressed as a beer bottle and a banana. One girl went out as a twister board. This young man was… something.
In the dead of night, we listened to a girl beg "nobody wants to fight anymore," as the sound of blows echoed in the darkness. On the bus out of town the next day, a group of highschool boys called friends on their cellphones - "we've been in Galway. Nope, haven't slept. Bars were too crowded, couldn't get in anywhere. Just drank silly inside the flat."
of All Saint's Day. In Barcelona last October, around the time of La Castanyada, the few people celebrating seemed intoxicated partly by the novelty of it all. Here in Galway, we felt that the city was on the verge of falling apart in the dark.