Halloween is a spooky holiday time in the year. Filled with superstitions about witches and cauldrons and things that go bump in the night, most people celebrate it on October 31st by dressing up in a scary costume and trick-or-treating round the neighbourhood.
Ever since childhood, it was the one time of the year you could get all excited about putting on a witches hat and broom and ‘flying’ around the house or cutting up that spare duvet sheet and pretending to be a ghost; and more traditionally carving pumpkins out into menacing faces and lighting them up in the hallway window with a candle inside.
Many play practical pranks, go apple bopping, visit ghost tours, tell ghost stories and watch horror films.
You would walk from house to house down your street, knocking on each door shouting ‘Trick or Treat’ and filling your Halloween pumpkin bowl with candies, chocolates and sweets.
But is this what it is about? What are its’ origins?
History of Halloween
Halloween, also called All Hallows’ Eve, is a mix of ancient Celtic practises, Catholic and Roman religious rituals and European folk traditions that blended together over time to create the holiday we know today.
The myth describes it as a day when the dead can return to the earth and ancient Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes and masks to ward off these roaming ghosts. The Celtic holiday of Samhain, the Catholic Hallowmas period of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day and the Roman festival of Feralia, all influenced the modern holiday of Halloween. Nowadays, it has lost its religious connotation.
It was intended to give rest and peace to the departed. Participants made sacrifices in honour of the dead, offered up prayers for them, and made offerings to them. The festival of Samhain celebrates the beginning of the ‘darker half’ of the year and is regarded as the “Celtic New Year”. It was also a time of the year to stock food supplies and slaughter livestock for the winter months.
Traditional images and symbols include; black cats, bats, werewolves, witches, skeletons, vampires and ghosts. Black and orange are dominant colours representing the darkness, fire, autumn leaves, jack-o’-lanterns and pumpkins.
If you want to get into the spooky spirit for Halloween, why not check out the following items at Ulster Weavers to accessorize your kitchen when making witches brew & toffee apples.
Black Plain Dyed Tea Cosy
Black Plain Dyed Pott Mitt
Black Plain Dyed Cotton Apron