Halloween: The History behind Trick or Treat.

Halloween, pumpkins and tea and cake

 

Halloween

Halloween, also known as;

Allhaloween,      All Hallows’ Eve,     or All Saints Eve.

It is believed it came out of Celtic Times in Celtic speaking countries and may have, possibly had, pagan roots.

Celtic Harvest festivals were/are, observed in  several countries across the world on October 31st of each year. This year October 31st falls on a Thursday.  It is the Eve of the Western Christian feast,  All Hallows’ Day.

A day dedicated to remembering the dead. 

In Folklore,  it is an event that signifies, a thinning  of the worlds between the dead and the living, where the dead may come back to earth, their one day a year, where they may seek retribution for deeds done against them when living, before  they move  on to their celestial world.  Many on this night,  place another chair at the table or the fire to welcome lost family  members etc.

Big Bonfires,  were very popular on this night as it was believed  the heat and the blaze would  stop the dead souls from falling to earth, later they were used to keep the devil away.

The end of October,  in the Northern Hemisphere always signified the last of the summer and the the months of  cold and darker days. The collection of the harvests and thoughts turn to surviving the winter and appeasing the dead  on this eve, so good fortune would follow them and keep them safe. It was a time to make soul cakes  and give to those that came to your door. They would then offer prayers  for you to keep you safe. Those that came may say poetry and would dress in costume with hidden faces, just in case the marauding spirits may recognise them as someone who had maligned them when they walked the earth.

Soul Cakes, are a mixture tasting  between a biscuit and a scone, full of currents and when cut into rounds a cross is indented on the top. I shall add a recipe to my recipe section when I find the most perfect one!  Although from what I have read, other cakes/biscuits  were baked and offered to the beggars, travellers, all contained grain, significant of the end of harvest time.

I have found a website called:    lavenderandlovage.com

Karen Burns -Booth.   I first met her when she was a contributor to a beautiful French online magazine called: ‘The Good Life France’.

A totally FREE magazine with quarterly  presented magazines, that follow the seasons of the year.

Karen has a great recipe for Soul Cakes, from the recipe book:

Cattern, cakes and lace. This book contains the festivals, feast days and recipes associated with the  histories of these special celebrated days, plus so much more.


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In many parts of the world,  there are Christian religious gatherings on All Hallows’ Eve, where people gather to pray for the dead and light candles. they attend church services and place lighted candles on graves, but elsewhere in the world it has become more commercial and a fun thing to do, to dress up and go ‘trick or treating’.

Trick or Treat

From the beginnings  of the pagan traditions, Trick or Treat, in many countries, is now  a fun event, where children dress up and visit the neighbourhood, a  Halloween tradition, performed on the 31st, October each year.

Children and adults dress in costume and travel from house to house asking for treats, trick or treat. Trick these days can refer to some attempt at hopefully, harmless mischief.

In Britain and Ireland the tradition goes back to the 16th century.

As well as dressing in costume, reciting poems, receiving food  or even money there were warnings of misfortune if they were not welcomed.

It has become a very commercialised event with the purchase of costumes and paraphernalia,  all pertaining to ghouls and ghosts, witches,  perhaps a few good fairies and a few good witches all dressed in white,  carrying a beautiful wand!  ( goodness, my imagination runs away with me!)  Well let’s hope so!

 

Why Pumpkins?

Well going back in History it looks like people would use a turnip, with eyes and gruesome mouth cut out, to scare away the dead souls or/the devil. So I guess a pumpkin is pretty good and so much bigger, so ‘a jack o lantern’ came into being!   Also it is symbolic of fall isn’t it in the Northern  Hemisphere, the oranges and browns, the glorious colours of the trees as they change from greens to pinks, reds, browns, the  colours of the colder months.


Let’s try a brew of Pumpkin  Tea!


 

While enjoying our cup of pumpkin Tea, perhaps a little Artistic Flair is worth a try! Why not!.

To the Pleasure of a Cup of warming Spiced  Pumpkin  black Tea and a Soul Cake!

 

Michele

References: Wikipedia.

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