• Loretto Leary

🎃A Celtic Halloween👻

The first time I heard the phrase “trick or treat” was while watching the 1978 movie Halloween. We did not “trick-or-treat” on Halloween in Ireland, not back in the ’70s or early ’80s. Long before Laurie Strode's and Dr. Sam Loomis' hunt for Michael Myers, we celebrated Samhain.

The custom of celebrating Samhain is an old Celtic holiday that marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the winter, a time associated with death. Combine all of that with pumpkin carving Jack O' Lanterns, also Irish, and you have the origins of Halloween.

Instead of candy or sweets, traditionally, we received money, mostly coins, and we went from door to door singing and playing musical instruments, reciting poetry, or even telling stories. Then we went home and celebrated Halloween with a few Celtic games.

Here are a few ways to celebrate Halloween 2020 Celtic style-

1. Bob for apples🍏

Fill a basin with enough water to let an apple float about one inch. Kids take turns in trying to take a bite out of the floating apples.

2. Eat Barmbrack🍪

Be careful with this one! Objects are baked into or inserted into the base of the cake and symbolize life events. As a child, I cut my slice of barmbrack into tiny pieces searching for the objects. Remind participants that while they eat, they need to be aware of the following- coin-wealth or good fortune; ring-will marry within the year; bean-poverty; pea-will not marry within the year; matchstick-unhappy marriage; thimble-single for life.

3. Play the three saucers game 🍽

Place three saucers on a table containing water, a ring, and the third clay. Blindfold the person playing and ask them to pick a saucer after they have twirled in place ten times, and you have switched the saucers around!

If the saucer of water was picked, they would be sailing across the water to a new country before next Halloween. If they placed their hand on the saucer with the ring, they would be married before next Halloween, and if they picked the saucer with clay, they would be dead and buried within the next 12 months. Not a game for the very impressionable. But it is, after all, just a game.

So, Halloween isn’t canceled. Trick or treating is just on hold. Celebrate a Celtic Halloween at home instead this year.

For the adults, here are a few more Halloween themed libations for you to enjoy this Halloween.

🎃 Halloween Wines 👻



90 Points Wine.com

🍇Winemaker Notes

An enticing nose of pepper, violets, cigar, and cassis. On the palate, it is a mouthwatering mélange of red berry and plum flavors backed by earthy tones of herb-roasted meat and fresh black trumpet giving way to a spice-laden finish. Blend: 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Zinfandel, 15% Tannat, 14% Malbec, 10% Petite Sirah, 9% Merlot, 5% Carignan, 4% Syrah, 3% Grenache

A Banshee is a woman who sits and combs her hair outside of a house where someone is going to die that night. The sound of the comb moving through her long hair sounds like a woman wailing or shrieking. Allegedly she only haunts families that have the Ó or Mc/Mac in their surname. All good in the Leary household👍

Corvidae Lenore Syrah 2017 💲14.99 Syrah/Shiraz from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington. Lenore, for fans of Edgar Allen Poe

🍇Winemaker Notes

Lenore Syrah is powerful and intensely concentrated. The hillside vines in Yakima contribute fragrance, texture, and purity of fruit flavors. The depth of flavor belies the paltry price-point. Pair this crowd-pleasing wine with barbecued baby back ribs, a hearty lamb stew, or your favorite burger. Of course, she’s a beauty on her own as well.

Not Celtic, but a scary story to accompany the name.


Napa Valley⁠

Cabernet Sauvignon⁠



🏆Critical Acclaim⁠

🍷James Suckling⁠

92 Points⁠

Lovely softness and balance to this wine. Aromas and flavors of currants and blueberries. Medium-to full-bodied. Refined and beautiful now. Drink and enjoy.⁠

Who was Faust aka Dr. Faustus?⁠

Doctor Faust became the subject of a folk legend in the decades after his death, transmitted in chapbooks beginning in the 1580s, and was notably adapted by Christopher Marlowe in his play The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus (1604). ⁠

😈The story goes, Faust is bored and depressed with his life as a scholar. After an attempt to take his own life, he calls on the Devil for further knowledge and magic powers to indulge all the pleasure and knowledge of the world. In response, the Devil's representative, Mephistopheles, appears. He makes a bargain with Faust: Mephistopheles will serve Faust with his magic powers for a set number of years, but at the end of the term, the Devil will claim Faust's soul Faust will be eternally enslaved.

Stay tuned for more Halloween themed wines, beers and liquor.

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