Burn burn

31 October, 2010

Back in the cushty D14 estate, Halloween was a friendly thing, involving cute ghosts, singing and chocolate. It’s different on the Northside.

Here, the firecrackers have been going off in the street all week, accompanied by whooping and hollering and alarms. I’d like to think that it’s the echoes of ancient traditions of making loud noises to scare away the evil spirits, but it appears to be the evil spirits making all the noise. Personal use of fireworks remains illegal here, but there are guys selling them on Henry Street next to the traditional fruit-inna-pram ladies.

The other unusual activity is the dragging of pallets and trolleyfuls of wood around the streets. I wondered aloud what this was for. It’s for building bonfires, of course.

“But it’s Halloween, not Bonfire Night. You don’t do Bonfire Night in Ireland.”

Charlie gives me a look: that’s what you think.

Picture the scene tonight: a huge unlit bonfire in the small green gap between two blocks of flats. Standing next to it looking resolute, two gardaí. Sitting on the wall opposite and waiting for them to give up, a bunch of kids. Judging by the haze of smoke in the air all around, they were the unlucky ones.




  1. We kept the evil spirits away by lighting up a large pumpkin. Indoors, we enjoyed the good spirits! (The limoncello in particular!)

  2. Halloween night was much quieter and friendlier here this year. Apparently, we have Spar to thank: they took all their eggs off display and hid them behind the counter the week before! 😀

    • Is that all it takes? No eggs, no chaos? Tch, students these days, no ingenuity.

  3. […] is presently very late on a Saturday night, there are distant explosions, and I don’t want to go looking for street art right now. I return to a still-unsolved […]

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