TEL: 01825 790331
- CLOSED -
NEW VENUE WANTED
The Halloween Story
On October 31st, we celebrate Halloween,thought to be the one night of the year when ghosts, witches, and fairies are especially active.
Why do we celebrate halloween?
The easy answer to this question is that no one really knows the origins of Halloween.
What we do know for sure is that Halloween is on the eve of a major Catholic festival, All Saints (1st November) and the eve of the pagan Celtic festival known as Samhain.
image: witch costumeThe three days between 31st October and 2nd November see pagan and Christian celebrations intertwined in a fascinating way and is a perfect example of superstition struggling with religious belief.
Currently, it is widely thought that Halloween originated as a pagan Celtic festival of the dead related to the Irish and Scottish Samhain, but there is no evidence that it was connected with the dead in pre-Christian times. ( source: Stations of the Sun by Ronald Hutton pages 360-70)
In Lancashire, 'Lating' or 'Lighting the witches' was an important Halloween custom. People would carry candles from eleven to midnight. If the candles burned steadily the carriers were safe for the season, but if the witches blew them out, the omen was bad indeed.
In parts of the north of England Halloween was known as Nut-crack Night. Nuts were put on the fire and, according to their behaviour in the flames, forecast faithfulness in sweethearts and the success or failure of marriages.
CostumeHalloween was also sometimes called Snap Apple Night, in England. A game called snap apple was played where apples were suspended on a long piece of string. Contestants had to try an bite the apple without using their hands. A variation of the game was to fix an apple and a lighted candle at opposite ends of a stick suspended horizontally and to swing the stick round. The object was to catch the apple between the teeth whilst avoiding the candle.
Many places in England combined Halloween with Mischief Night (celebrated on 4 November), when boys played all kinds of practical jokes on their neighbours. They changed shop signs, took gates off their hinges, whitewashed doors, and tied door latches