Updated Post: Irish Halloween Blessing

Pumpkins at the Botanical Gardens in Dublin. A few weeks before Halloween
William Murphy, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We know and love Halloween as a fun loving time of year. In my neighborhood, here in Florida, the adults play a game called “I’ve been boo’ed”. You create a bag of Halloween treats and then secretly place it a neighbor’s door. Then the neighbor creates a treat bag and passes it along. And so the game goes until the entire neighborhood has been boo’ed.

But do you know that Halloween traditions originated in Ireland? And most of them were created as an answer to preparing for the harsh winter season the unexplainable. In the blessing below, goblins, spirits, and overall scary characters are named.– but you wouldn’t want to encounter any of them. For example, the Will o’ The Wisp was believed to be a eerie, ghostly light covering the marshes at night, all meant to mislead you in your travels.

The Jack O’ Lantern that we know as a cheerful, smiling pumpkin is derived from a story about a trickster named Jack who couldn’t die. Even the devil wouldn’t take him. So, Jack roamed Ireland playing tricks and being overall disagreeable. People carved turnips and placed them in the window to ward off strangers or evil people like Jack.

Culture Vannin, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

And so, here’s the Halloween blessing again in 2022. And, if you do encounter the Puca, may it be good luck. Happy haunting, my friends.

At all Hallow's Tide,
May God keep you safe
From goblin and pooka and
Black-hearted stranger,
From harm of the water 
And Hurt of the fire,
From thorn of the Bramble,
From all other danger,
From Will O' The Wisp
Haunting the mire;
From stumbles and tumbles 
And tricksters to vex you ,
May God in His mercy
This week protect you.

Celtic Pooka

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