October Holiday (IRL) History
The October Holiday was introduced for the purposes of the Holidays (Employees) Act of 1973- to give people a day off from work. As it takes place on the last Monday of October, the day sometimes coincides with Halloween. In Ireland, the tradition of ‘Halloween’ dates back to the 18th century, it evolved from the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain. The Celts believed that the night was a time of transition, when a veil that usually separates worlds is lowered. All the spirits of those who did since the last Oíche Shamhan (Night of Samhain) moved into the next life.
Today there are markets, parties and festivals across the country and the world much like St Patrick’s Day, another Irish festival that goes global. This year the October Holiday is observed the day after the end of Western European Summer Time, when the clocks go back an hour- 31 October.
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