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SAMHAIN 2018: Limerick’s Halloween Festival

Artistic Director of Lumen Street Theatre, Martin Shannon helps launch SAMHAIN 2018: Limerick’s Halloween Festival at the Fab Lab Limerick. Picture: Cathal Noonan, True Media.

SAMHAIN 2018: Limerick’s Halloween Festival 

By ilovelimerick Correspondent Simran Kapur

The brainchild of Lumen Street Theatre, SAMHAIN 2018: Limerick’s Halloween festival will culminate with a light-filled parade on Nicholas Street.

Funded by Limerick City and County Council, the festival brings with it a range of fun and interactive activities. Taking place across Limerick over 25 October to 27 October, entry to all events are free.

According to the Urban Dictionary SAMHAIN marks the end of summer. On this day, 31 October, the boundaries between our world and the other world are at their weakest.

The purpose of the parade is to call upon the Bishop’s Lady who shall rise to once again roam the main medieval streets of the city haunting all who gather before her.

The organisers at the Lumen Street Theatre said: “This festival is about celebrating Limerick, its medieval quarter, the river, traditions and stories. People should absolutely not miss the parade on the 27th of October when the Bishop’s lady rises during the lantern parade through Nicholas Street which will be a unique experience to view or to be a part of. It’ll be a spectacle for the entire family to enjoy.”  

samhain limerick halloween festival 2018

Elli Smalis, Limerick Youth Group, helps launch SAMHAIN 2018: Limerick’s Halloween Festival. Picture: Cathal Noonan, True Media

Through talks on history and folklore, community workshops to include lantern making and traditional Halloween craft, the Irish roots of Samhain will be truly celebrated within the community. There will also be fun educational events for children that will include spooky storytelling.

On the first day of the festival join Michael Fortune for what will prove to be a highly entertaining, informative and insightful presentation on the origins of Halloween in Ireland.

A ‘Night Swim’ organized by Swimable Limerick will bring back the concept of public baths on 26 October. A bathing area along the shores of The Shannon, plunge into the cool waters to experience a moonlit swim.

Martin Shannon, Artistic Director of Lumen Street Theatre said: “This Halloween festival set within the heart of Limerick’s medieval quarter will be a bespoke celebration, the people of Limerick and visitors to the city will gather in a procession of light and dramatically light up the river as the lanterns float away honouring the spirits of those who have passed. It will illuminate the October Bank Holiday weekend and commemorate Irish folklore and traditions at its very best.”

On 27 October at the parade, a procession of lanterns made by the local communities will be launched onto the River Shannon as a way of banishing the darkness and remembering the souls of loved ones during the Halloween festivities.

All lanterns and puppets are created by the Lumen Street Theatre using biodegradable materials, making them eco-friendly.    

For more information on Lumen Street Theatre go here

For more stories on Lumen Street Theatre go here 


Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.