The incredible “Riversaurus” display – part of the street activity for Derry’s Halloween celebration.
Many of the traditions associated with Halloween have their origins in Ireland and other Celtic countries, and the ancient festival of Samhain. It is fitting therefore, that one of the best celebrations is to be found in Ireland, in the city of Derry. We took the trip to see the Walled City Market and street art put on for the occasion.
A witch in the Foyleside Shopping Centre.
A very Lovecraftian creature on the banks of the Foyle.
Even the dogs dress up!
At the Walled City Market beside the Guildhall.
One of the most amazing sights was the Riversaurus display, three huge dinosaur costumes, accompanied by their equally fearsome “keeper”. As they stalked the streets, it was staggering how their movements and the barked commands of their keeper, created a truly dreamlike or nightmarish quality. It wasn’t hard to suspend your disbelief and imagine the crowds were being menaced by these eldritch creatures. Every now and again they would lunge at individuals, usually children, provoking a mixutre of reactions form squeals of delight to genuine terror. One tiny boy laughed helplessly as his head was enveloped in the mouth of one dinosaur, while another “victim” was really screaming in horror and had to be consoled. A fantastic spectacle for those that weren’t traumatised!
The space in front of the Guildhall, under the city walls was filled by a market, with food stalls and seasonal decorations.
A Cuban food stall with the iconic image of Che Guevara.
The market under the walls and the tower museum.
Up on the walls, there were more displays, some incorporating elements of the Hindu festival of Diwali.
There is a great fireworks display over the Foyle near the Peace Bridge on Halloween night. We didn’t make it this year, but I have a few images from last year. It is difficult to get a good spot for photographs due to its popularity and the thousands of visitors it attracts.
Derry, definitely the place to be for Halloween.