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Halloween Celebrations in Balallan

Halloween Celebrations in Balallan

The following article written by Margaret M Macleod, Balallan, appeared in the 1994 edition of Dioghlum

Oidhche Shamhna (Halloween) was an event which the girls of Balallan and elsewhere on the Island looked forward to. There was a strict line of demarkation between the East Enders and the West Enders which was 31 Balallan (taigh a Ghrosair). The venue for Halloween, both East and West was classified as 'top secret'. For the East Enders, the venue was usually No 12, (taigh Mairi Lamont).

The financial cost of the party was met by the individual contributions of the girls - sixpence or a shilling per head. The collection was carefully budgeted and appropriate purchases made for the party. On Halloween night, the older girls visited neighbouring houses and the younger girls stayed in to keep the fires burning. At the feast there was always a dumpling, bread and jam and other delicacies and of course, dooking for apples.

The boys in the village celebrated Oidhche Chaluinn (Hogmanay) in much the same way as the girls but the more roguish of the boys went through the village playing pranks on certain households.

Margaret M Macleod, Balallan

Title: Halloween Celebrations in Balallan
Record Type: Stories, Reports and Traditions
Gaelic Name: Oidhche Shamhna
Type: Tradition
Date: 1930
Record Maintained By: CECL
Subject Id: 39559