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Dublin's Burning!

category dublin | miscellaneous | feature author Wednesday November 01, 2006 15:19author by Paula Geraghtyauthor email mspgeraghty at yahoo dot ie Report this post to the editors

featured image

T'was Hallowe'en night...........

Traditional Halloween Bonfires Light up the city.

Everywhere bonfires, fireworks, superheroes looking for sweets...... when will it all end?

Photo Essay from Dublin | The scariest thing in Derry this Halloween

(c) paula










author by Paula Geraghtypublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 23:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors


The Luas approaches
The Luas approaches










author by maxpublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 23:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

sublime photos thanks

author by Deirdre Clancypublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 23:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great photo essay, Paula - thanks for this.

author by redjadepublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 23:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

in hungarian class today i was trying to explain halloween to my classmates and teacher.

[bunch of yanks in the class, 1 azerbaijani, 1 german, 1 iranian and hungarian teacher]

i was trying to explain that it is not an 'imported american holiday' as one hungarian said, but originally irish.

some sort of knew that - the celtic thing, of course.

then I tried to explain this thing about Dublin kids burning everything burnable in the neighborhood and I just got a series of multinational blank stares saying 'They do what?!'

thanks for the photos paula :-)

author by Updatepublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 01:34author address Maine, USAauthor phone Report this post to the editors

SOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE — The lawyer who divulged President Bush's
drunken-driving arrest days before the 2000 election was arrested
Tuesday after he was spotted on a highway overpass wearing an Osama
bin Laden Halloween costume and holding a toy gun.

Tom Connolly, 49, was charged with criminal threatening, a
misdemeanor, and was released after posting $500 bail. He said he
intends to plead not guilty.

"There was a First Amendment this morning when I woke up. I don't know
how it evaporated with the dawn," Connolly, an unsuccessful Democratic
candidate for governor in 1998, told reporters after his release.

More on link below.......

Related Link: http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2006/10/31/422009-activist-arrested-for-halloween-stunt
author by Zumapublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In Cork the tradition has been that bonfires are lit on June 23rd. I think it also has ancient roots but the Christians have hijacked it as St. John's Eve. There is no great tradition in Cork of bonfires or fireworks at Halloween. I think that has only come with multi-channel television and the annual warnings on RTE about fireworks and bonfires. Bangers only appeared in Cork on a large scale in the last 5-10 years. I think the same tradition around June 23rd still exists in parts of Kerry, Clare and possibly Galway.

One thing I've noticed is the apeing of the British traditions aroung Guy Fawkes night. It's ironic that in a largely catholic country people are starting to adopt the tradition of burning the "Guy" which of course is related to the gunpowder plot of militant catholics against the protestant king of England! It's amazing the power of television. They'll be having bonfires on the "Twalfth Eve" down here before we know it.

author by publopublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

funny that cos here in the Uk they're worried that the huge increase in halloween festivities over the past few years is leading to the demise of the guy fawkes celebrations!

author by Paula Geraghtypublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fatima, Dolphin House, Marleborough lane, Drimnagh and off Francis street.

There tends to be a lot of hysteria about Halloween. The images are an attempt to put the context back in to the event.
It's magical and edgy and there's a glorious beauty with all the fireworks. It's about kids having fun and letting off steam. And it's mostly unregulated.

The following images are from a beautiful pristine picture postcard village of Caledon near Armagh. It's an incredibly prosperous area, rolling hills, autumnal tones of deciduous trees and horses, lots and lots.

A very professional bonfire being created under the sign for suspicious activities.




author by Shanepublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 15:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting about the 23rd of June for bonfires in Cork, that's when they have their bonfire night in Erris and it was completely new to me.
Great pictures by the way.

author by Big Redpublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 15:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

kids like burning stuff. and so do some adults - it's kind of a release, a climax.
and i (a belfast 'catholic') certainly feel that we miss out on the 12th night bonfire fun. i've always imagined it would be a great night out, but no-one's ever invited me...
i mean, i draw the line at tyres - that's just poisonous. but a big pile of wood with the pope at the top (or any other symbol of the establishment) - that's just fun.

author by Guy Fawkespublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 15:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Meanwhile in the globalised world, there is abuse-scandal and destruction.
Glad the bonfires are celebratory-afterall Ireland lives in an insular little bubble
because we close our eyes to the corruption in the world and in our politicians.

We have a lot to celebrate- ask the dual authorities who guarantee peace on this
Island Hain/Mc Dowell.Their migration laws are identical. There is no difference
between the Dublin and Blair regime. well done indy media for underscoring the
manistrema's pretty pictures and proving once again that indy represents an alternative
voice representing poverty/exclusion and isolation.

Happy Halloween.

They are good pictures- socialism lite.

author by wayback machinepublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 16:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"On my way some kids were pushing some stolen shopping trolleys through the woods. The trolleys were laden down with pallets, car tyres, traffic cones and petrol cans. They were collecting wood for the local estate bonfire. Admittedly, I came on very nostalgic, this sight nearly brought a tear to my eye (bear in mind the previous nights activities now) as I reminisced about my own youth. I really used to enjoy the general mayhem of Halowe’en: home made bangers, unity with the kids on other roads in your estate who you would normally tear lumps out of (but only to steal wood from the next estate, mind), staying out late, making bombshells, robbing pallets from the back of Quinnsworth, setting off illegal fireworks purchased on Moore St. The run-up to the night itself was always an exercise in patience; you’d have a stack of airbombs, catherine wheels, quarter sticks and black cats stashed under your bed, begging to be let off… and like taking a sneak at your Christmas presents, you’d let a couple off before the big night itself, but you always knew that the real shit had to be saved for this one, insane, crazy festival.

Halowe’en is the ultimate suburban nightmare for a lot of folks. I can’t help but enjoy it though. It’s a suburban release. It’s good to see kids letting loose a bit of steam and indulging in illegal activities. Now that a good load of the kids around here have grown up, there are less bonfires than before, which is a shame. It seems as if it’s a dying tradition. I hope it long continues. Much as the lawlessness on the night itself seems mindless, I cant help but endorse it. It sows the seeds of rebelliousness in kids, that there is something out there that they shouldn’t be doing. The police, their parents, their teachers: none of them want children out starting fires, but they still go and do it anyway out of some bizarre subconscious rite, year after year."

author by Guy Fawkespublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 17:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thats alternative media.

The irish Times Photo is similar too.

Thats called avoidance.

What a lovely culture we are.

author by Dublinerpublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 17:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We had great craic this year.
But I have a story for youse!
Me and my m8s have a bonfire goin in this little green,goin agout 30 feet into the air,and we are settin off fireworks like mad.It's all goin grand.
But just then two Garda cars drive up on the green,and we start shootin proton bombs and air bombs and everythin at them and on o me m8s throws a petrol bomb at the side of one o the cop cars.

author by Peter Sutherland's Nemesispublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 17:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think it's very important to burn (!) the cacophony of the six hours of bangs and explosions after crescendo after bang of last night into our memories. For those who weren't in Dublin and for those who didn’t drive through Dublin last night ... The entire city from east to west and from north to south was one firework explosion after the other, constant, ceaseless, non-stop - I am not exaggerating. It was relentless.

Literally thousands and thousands of fireworks were released. At times in different parts of the city one had to shout to be just heard walking down the street.

The state through that guttersnipe self-obsessive Michael McDowell nailed its colours to the mast and stated clearly “FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL if you do not have a licence”. Do the people of Dublin believe this? The people of Dublin don’t care - two fingers to your control freakery McDowell (Minister for Justice).

It is an important night to remember for all those who dream of a better world. The state and its laws need people to believe in them for them to work.

Anyone old enough from rural parts of Louth, Monaghan, Cavan or Roscommon will surely remember the 70s and 80s at Halloween - robbing gates, leaving parked cars stuck on blocks - wheels in the ditch, bangers bought illegally in the North and sold furtively in the school yard. Our parents were the ones who started back up a tradition that had waned LIGHT A HUGE BONFIRE.

Happy dissent, happy Halloween.

[Not withstanding that I am glad I am not a dog, a cat or a nervous octogenarian living alone on Halloween. Next year, maybe we should actually call in to our elderly neighbours and let them know we’re there to listen to them freaking out about the noise.]

author by Dublinerpublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 17:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hey Big Red..Okey you dont like the Pope,I get that but dosent it bother you that on the 12th there are a dozen tri colers on every bonfire.the flag of your nation is being burned and you want to join in???

author by moi2publication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 17:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In Detroit, we burn everything the night before Halloween, or "Devil's Night". The media is trying to refer to it as "Angel's Night" in an attempt to stop all the fires and myriad other criminalities.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Night
author by Noise Hackerpublication date Wed Nov 01, 2006 17:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors



author by Pranksterpublication date Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Has anyone ever been involved in the kicking of cabbage at Samhain? I know it used to be a very strong tradition in part of Mayo, along with robbing gates, or locking them with a different lock, and going door to door singing for money, like the Wren boys, but the cabbage kicking thing seems to only have occured in very few places.

author by Deirdre Cpublication date Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We never used to say 'Trick or treat' when we dressed up and went around houses - that's a fairly recent American import. It was always 'Help the Halloween party'. The kids that now come around where we live are chaperoned by older siblings - that wasn't really deemed necessary in the 70s either. We'd have been mortified to go around with our older siblings. Also, we felt really lucky if we got two or three bars of chocolate along with our nuts and apples. Now, the kids are arriving at the door with large shopping bags literally bursting with sweets (monkey nuts would be unacceptable, I assume, nowadays). Sign of the times. And we wonder why we have an obesity epidemic. One must buy into it, of course. You're not going to be very popular in your neighbourhood if you give the kids health bars and fruit, though some obviously could do with them.

I loved the wildness in the air at Halloween, the sense of something primal being woken up. It's acquired an edge of cruelty in recent years, with animals being burned at bonfires, etc., the knowledge of which kind of spoils that sense (though this could have been the case before and just not highlighted in the media).

author by v for vandalismpublication date Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but wasnt part of the old pagan tradition driving the animals through a small fire to purify their souls for the winter?

Obviously sticking a banger up a dogs' arse isnt comparable...

author by is for.....publication date Thu Nov 02, 2006 13:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors


it can also denote Veritas- truth.

and when did we all get so grown up about feasting and fun?

Samhain was co-opted by the church which was co-opted by the corporations,
the prevalent authority always dominate the feasting, who cares- dismantle the influence
refuse to buy but don't be purist about it.

All irish Halloweens has commonalities- stories/music/scary stuff/fires/fruit and nuts
dress-up. Harvest celebration and preparation for winter.

The Sidh became the all souls and sure the rest is history- we cling to the traditions
because they are ours, but we remind our kids of the cycle of seasons through
emphasising the feast aspect of it. It is not a helplessness to recognise the
insidiousness of the consumerist emphasis on the time, but its easy to ignore.

I did not hear the words "Trick or Treat" anywhere on the night, but the kids went to bed
scared stiff when they were told stories of the Sidh and changelings..... (heehee)

author by Bazarovpublication date Thu Nov 02, 2006 16:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Halloween 2006 was a different experience entirely from my point of view. There was definitely something wild in the air, in a good way. I drove through the city and witnessed mayhem on every street corner coupled to an abundance of good will. I too got invovled by setting off some fancy fireworks (something i haven't done since childhood) in blatantly anti McDowell fashion. In many ways i felt that this night was a firm two fingers up to both the politics and religion of this country, reminding both of who's really in charge...

author by emla1886publication date Thu Nov 02, 2006 23:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i like the irish version as shown here better then the american version i'm stuck with. we just run about drunk and high on sweets with no bonfires. though there aren't any american cities or towns that i've ever lived in that would allow such.

author by Peggypublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 04:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Halloween makes you wanna go read Lord of the Flies all over again doesn't it?

author by tinkerpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 07:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On a cross roads in the souhern tasmanian rainforest- with our backs to the rainforest and our blockade, in front of us a 2year old napalmed clearfell, was a bonfire lit on the ancient festival. this forest ahs given me so much, so it was time to bring a little irish magic to it!

author by RobbieSpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

June 23rd/24th - St. John's Day celebrated still throughout rural Ireland, but used to be celebrated throughout Europe. Not knowing about the salstice, this was the 'midsummer's night' of myth and play.

It was on this night in Seventeenth Century Paris in the reign of King Louis XIV, that thousands of cats were thrown on one bonfire (referred to, I think, in Stphen Menell's book on Norbert Elias, UCD, 1996).

I suppose the current apparel and accoutrement of the stereotypical witch appeared in myth revival of the Nineteenth Century - originating in Germany and disseminating globally.

In Ireland, Oíche Shamhna [ eeha howna] was New Year's Eve in the Celtic Calendar - approximating to October 31st nowadays.

Oíche Shamhna ->Halloween->All Saints Eve, being the end of the old year, was the point at which the otherworld and this were at their most interchangeable. The Sídh are a pre-Celtic tradition that were too good to be forgotten.

Spiritually, Oíche Shamhna seems to be more like All Soul's Day (November 2nd) in the Christian tradition.

New Year's Day itslef (Samhain) was November 1st, and Samhain = November in Gaelic, still.

Bonfires played a central part in all four main Celtic feasts (Feb 1st, May 1st, Aug 1st and Nov 1st). In this case, it's likely that the bonfires represented hope in the bleak beginnings to come, rather than the stereotypical warding off of evil spirits. Caesar had it that the only thing the Celts were afraid of was that the sky might fall in.

Barn Brack is one of the things I remember growing up in the 70s and 80s. Bearna = gap, breac = spotted. In this cake was a brass ring, and the person whose portion contained it had some sort of luck bestowed on them without any ado.

It was said, in Wexford, that you couldn't eat the berries after October 31st because the good people had pissed on them.

Otherwise, bobbing for pennies and tryin' to eat an apple off a string were all the go. Don't remember any house-to-houseing in Tacumshin, but in Wexford town, kids did go out at night with masks and stuff. This may have been scrounging sweets, but I wasn't aware of this at the time.

Myself, I think the "trick-or-treating" is a nuissance that's been allowed to get worse over the years with the particular influence of Hollywood. When there's 100 houses on an estate, that makes for some logistics.

author by Helperpublication date Fri Nov 03, 2006 14:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It was on this night in Seventeenth Century Paris in the reign of King Louis XIV, that thousands of cats were thrown on one bonfire (referred to, I think, in Stphen Menell's book on Norbert Elias, UCD, 1996).

_The Great Cat Massacre - And Other Episode in French Cultural History_, Robert Darnton

Well worth a read. Cats were seen as luxury goods and proxies for the hated masters and mistresses. Darnton also has a more recent book about the encyclopedists (Diderot etc) and the police spy apparatus of the French state at that time.

Nice pictures Paula.

author by Yankpublication date Wed Dec 06, 2006 20:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Funny about the Guy Fawkes thing but it is taking off in America to as a symbol of rebelion. It is amazing that the power of a movie can make people change.

We burned a Guy Fawkes at ocean beach in San Francisco and were harrassed by the police for doing so. The crowd to my surprise had some Brits which when the police pushed the Brits started reciting the Poem about the Gun Powder Revolution and we all joined in. LOL!!

I think Iraq may have pushed our traditions to focus on a single sybolism. Get rid of G. Bush, all his cronies in the US and abroad, and stop our imperial tyranny that we have had for the last forty years.

I miss Eire.

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