Fáilte Ireland, in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, has announced the launch of Fire and Shadows Processions, a series of Samhain night processions taking place in Waterford, Limerick and Longford across the October bank holiday weekend.
The Samhain night processions will take visitors on a journey through ‘the realms of darkness and light, where spirits, mythical creatures, and ethereal beings converge.’
It will offer a fusion of Celtic mythology and folklore and feature a grand procession in each location, filling the streets during the twilight hours.
‘Home of Halloween’
“The Fire and Shadow Processions present a unique opportunity to build on existing Samhain events, to further showcase Limerick, Longford and Waterford’s strong tourism offering while encouraging visitors to stay longer and spend more,” said Orla Carroll, director of product development at Fáilte Ireland.
“Working in close partnership with [the] Night-Time Economy Taskforce and local authorities across the three counties, we have developed a series of processions that will bring the story of Samhain to life and celebrate Ireland as the Home of Halloween.”
Customs And Traditions
In Irish and Celtic traditions, Samhain is the end of the harvest season, when all the crops have been picked and stored for the new year.
This was historically a time of celebration, involving lighting fires, feasting on the crops of the harvest, playing music, gathering and storytelling.
Over many centuries, customs and traditions have been handed down around Samhain and travelled around the world through emigrant communities, particularly in the USA, where they became established as Halloween customs.
The Fire and Shadows Processions pilot scheme was launched in early 2023, to enhance and raise the profile of existing Samhain and authentic Halloween festivals and events.
Following an investment of €200,000 from Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Night-Time Economy Taskforce, the initiative aims to attract more visitors and create new economic opportunities within destinations, supporting a more vibrant and diverse night-time economy.
“Halloween is a globally recognised holiday, and the Fire and Shadows Processions are excellent platforms to promote Ireland as the place where it all began, and encourage locals and visitors to experience the rich culture and heritage of Limerick, Longford and Waterford and the surrounding areas,” said the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD.