Halloween has come and gone but the festive spirit is still with us. The trick or treating hasn’t left our consciousness and neither has the history behind the traditions:
An ancient religious tradition enlightens us!
Hallowtide, it has been argued, is behind Halloween. During medieval times, the date would shift a day and Halloween would be commemorated the day after, at the beginning of November. Initially termed All Saints’ Day in the 7th century AD by Christians to remember martyrs and saints, the second day would be saved for a feast and was called All Souls.
Drawing faces on pumpkins!
Carving a face on a turnip, a pumpkin, and decorating them as lanterns is a modern tradition, on the other hand. But the vegetables you use to carve these lanterns can vary, from root vegetables to a swede. You can put candles inside your vegetable, and carry them around in the dark, posh Somerset villages.
Costumes in England are popular for sure, with a good range exhibited amongst all ages, such as those of ghouls, ghosts, witches, wizards and headless horsemen. You get to deck out in costumes and visit one house from the other, collecting treats, such as sweets and money. Trick-or-treating as this is known as, was common in Cheshire, Shropshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire on the first two days on November.
North England would be particularly ghoulish this time of the year, as cakes would be baked and left in churchyards for the dead. Sometimes, these celebrations would even beget a bonfire or two, especially in Derbyshire. Some other strange charming mannerisms would be divinations for love – Robert Burns wrote a poem during the Victorian age that really grew in popularity around this time, in Scotland, and even in parts of our country because of their mentions in his poem, Halloween.
What you did was throw hazelnuts in the fire, naming one for your lover and the other for yourself. If they burned softly in the fire, and then burnt out you could expect a romantic, passionate life as a couple. If not, if the hazelnuts exploded, or spluttered in your fireplace, then you can expect troubles to spring into your relationship soon. If any of this got too tediously sentimental for you, you could always go bobbing for apples – its twice the fun, and none of those hazelnut popping sound to startle you, in the midst of all the merrymaking!