On the week before Fall break, students got ghoulishly greedy for candy and all things superstitious and spooky in the build up to Oiche Samhain (Gaelic for Halloween). Spirits were raised as the Academic Center was transformed by the students in a devilish layer overcome by swarms of bats, cobwebbed
corners, and hellish creatures.
Pumpkins were carved into Jack O’Lanterns creating some creepy and cute versions of the old pastime. Those who couldn’t wait for the evening’s party to ‘Trick or Treat’ were encouraged to come to class in costume and scare a lecturer or two.
To celebrate the ancient festival, students fused Irish and US traditional games, which made for a culturally curious Halloween party. On the Irish side, the game of conquers was played by dangling chestnuts from shoestrings and hitting your opponents chestnut with your own until one smashed announcing the victor, this was a first for almost everyone. Boreen Brack, a seasonal fruit cake found in every Irish home, was sampled by some hoping that superstitious claims that whomever finds the ring baked inside will soon be married. Also, euro coins were added to the bottom of the apple bobbing bowl for those daring to dunk deeper and gasp the coins with their teeth, needless to say people got wet.
The American traditions were represented in the form of eating hanging donuts from string, a mystery box, and playing the murder mystery game Mafia. Some students baked and brought decorated cupcakes to add to the array of festive snacks. In the end, there were three clear winners of our costume contest for the spookiest, funniest and most creative categories and it wouldn’t have been a Halloween party without dancing Thriller and hearing the Monster Mash more than once. Afterwards, the costumed Champlain students ahead off to dance the night ways at the National College of Ireland’s Halloween Ball.
Head Resident & Activities Coordinator
Champlain Abroad Dublin