Greengates Builders Merchants

Got Your Witches Outfit Ready?

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.

 

The 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.

 

Jack-o-lanterns- Pumpkin lanterns

 

These are hollowed out pumpkins with a face carved into one side.  Years ago people carved out beets, potatoes and turnips to use as lanterns.

 

According to an Irish legend, lanterns were named after a man named jack, who could not enter heaven because he was a miser.  He could not enter hell either, because he had played jokes on the devil.  Instead, he had to walk the earth with his lantern until judgment Day.

 

Fire was important to the Celts.  In the day people lit bonfires to scare away evil spirits, they believed that light had power to overcome darkness.  In some areas they used jump over the fire to bring good look.  Today we light candles in pumpkin lanterns, to keep away witches and ghouls.

 

Apple bobbing – started because the Romans used to celebrate their goddess Pomona in October around the same time as Halloween.  Pomona was the goddess of trees and fruits.

 

“Happy Halloween” from Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.

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