The answer to finding the right local information: Do your homework
When she first came to Ireland and wanted to learn about its local traditions, Ixchel Sac-nicte Rodriguez Garcia found it tricky to find what she needed, but she’s since learned that like everything else about life at Limerick Institute of Technology, she just had to do her homework!
I arrived in Ireland in September 2019. When you arrive in a new country, you’re always looking for the best information, trying to learn about local traditions and festivities and the differences between this place and your hometown. But when it came to Halloween, it was more difficult than I expected to find any information at all!
Little hard information, but lots of great stories!
Many will know that Halloween is a festivity first celebrated by the Celts, which suggests there’s going to be lots of stories or information available on its origins, but during the Halloween season there was barely any. I tried to go to events in Limerick city, but there was nothing major going on really, just plenty of urban legends and scary stories. I also researched different traditional Irish crafts, which are a big part of the country’s heritage, but I found it really hard to find consistent, solid information on them, as sources vary widely and people have different stories about them.
If you ask Irish people any question about history, they will all have different versions of it. After a while, though, you start to get used to the Irish story-telling style, which is to adjust or adapt stories for the listener. Irish people have a great sense of humour and try to find the best way to stay cheerful and to keep everyone around them the same. So they make up stories, but not just any stories – memorable stories! They tell stories that are not easily forgotten.
During my time in Limerick I’ve heard so many stories (some scary, some funny) of things that have happened around the city, and you hear them about every part of Ireland, but the most important thing is… do not believe everything that Irish people tell you! Sometimes they tell you something just for entertainment. There’s no malice in it; they just love stories. So with any information, you must check if there is material to back it up. The upshot? Do your homework!