Did you know?

Posted on 23rd October 2012 | in Community

Did you know that ‘hallow’ is the archaic word for ‘holy’ and ‘Holy Eve’ is the night before ‘All Saints’ day (1st Nov.) in the Christian churches and in the ancient Celtic history.  The origin of pumpkin lanterns also goes back to Celtic history when they were carved out of potatoes, beets and turnips.  They were called ‘Jack-o-Lanterns’. Legend says they were named after a man called Jack who could not enter Heaven or Hell because he was a miser  and had played tricks on the devil.  For a punishment he was obliged to walk the earth with his lantern until Judgment Day! The tradition of dressing-up as witches and skeletons is also buried in the same history. People believed that if they left their homes on Hallowe’en night they would encounter ghosts and evil spirits, so they wore masks of ghosts and evil spirits in the hope that they would be taken for one of them! The ‘trick-or-treat’ is from the same source – people left bowls of food and goodies outside their homes to appease the evil spirits.  When children discovered this opportunity they used disguises to alarm householders into giving them money or a treat.  I asked a group of youngsters once, what they would do for a trick if I didn’t give them anything … long pause… then one of them said ‘Have you got a pack of cards?’

Lou Pickering

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