A Spooky British Halloween

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When I was a young girl my 4 brothers and I celebrated Halloween with a turnip lantern. Pumpkins weren’t readily available in Britain so my father grew enough turnips and hoped that they would grow big enough to hollow out and put a lit candle in to light up the face.

We went out in the dark trick or treating, but we were only allowed to knock at the doors of people that we knew. Our mum would make toffee and put a lollipop stick in each apple before dipping into the toffee. Those home made toffee apples were gorgeous.

We did apple bobbing once where you put apples in bowls of water and have to get them out with your teeth, but with 5 kids fighting over who was next it got a bit too messy for our mums liking.

That was it really. Rather mild up to the Halloween celebrations of today, but with bonfire night coming up on November 5th, 5 days after Halloween we were more excited about the expected fireworks than Halloween.

Now Halloween has become much more commercialised. Kids and many adults like to throw Halloween parties and dress up in Halloween costumes. Walk out on the evening of October 31st and you will see witches and monsters, the grim reaper and bats, skeletons and zombies, all designed to scare but more fun than fearsome. For those who don’t want to be scary they can wear any fancy dress costume from Batman to Red Ridding Hood, cheer leader or nurse.

The Halloween merchandise that you can buy nowadays has grown more imaginative than just toffee apples. There are Halloween cakes with green or orange colouring, spooky face paints and temporary tattoos. You can buy fang shaped sweets, spooky eye balls, skull shaped candy, creepy spiders. witches finger lollies and much more. Don’t forget to buy in plenty of Halloween sweets for the trick or treaters.

For a long time I thought that Halloween was more of an American celebration. That was because it seemed to be celebrated more in the US and pumpkin lanterns and pumpkin pies seemed to be an American thing.

Then I found out that Halloween is actually All Hallows Eve or All Saints Eve.  Apparently it is believed that a lot of the Halloween traditions came from Celtic Harvest festivals and might even have pagan roots. In particular the Gaelic festival Samhain which eventually became the Christian Halloween. Some believe that it has always been a Christian thing though it doesn’t look like that to me with all of the Ghoulish things going on.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to celebrate this year due to work commitments, but next year I might just book myself into one of the haunted house tours that seem to be growing in popularity. How will you be celebrating Halloween this year?

For some more Halloween fun check out the below video that I made using Youtube’s video maker, it’s spooky!

Halloween Props

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