31st October 2020
Happy Halloween everyone! We think we’ve had more than enough tricks this year, so how about a treat? Enter code: HALLOWEEN at checkout on our website until 15th November for 20% off everything on our website. Eat your Halloween sweets (that you may or may not have bought for yourself) and enjoy a browse through our collection of William Morris designs.
Halloween is a funny one isn’t it. It’s become much more popular here in England over the last few years. Largely influenced by our American friends and brought over to the UK, we now have haunted houses galore. They may not be open this year and things might be a little different in the celebrations, but at this point in 2020, we’d probably find ourselves celebrating the opening of a paper bag! So off we go to the drive in cinema where we’re going to see “IT,” scared of clowns as we are…
To celebrate, we need to know what we’re celebrating don’t we. All Hallows Eve is celebrated every October 31st and dates back to age-old European traditions. It can be traced back to an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain. Samhain was a celebration of the ending of the harvest and the start of a new year. Also a time of honouring spirits, bonfires lit to honour the dead. Within the night of honouring and remembering those that had passed, the Celts believed it was easier for priests to predict the future. According to History, they’d build bonfires and burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic gods.
Pope Gregory III deemed November 1st as “All Saints Day” in the 8th Century, the night before became known as All Hallows Eve, shortened later to Halloween. It’s expected during the night ancestors might cross over from the afterworld during that time so Celts would dress as animals and monsters so fairies were not tempted to kidnap them.
It’s funny to see how some of our traditions and superstitions today are rooted in history without us realising. We think of bats in relation to Halloween, and it’s true of the Celts too. They lit the bonfires which attracted bugs – which in turn attracted bats.
In Old England and Ireland, the traditions continued to associate the night with the dead crossing over to this world from the afterlife. They set out food to please these spirits. As the years went on, people began to wear scary costumes in return for treats. It was then called “mumming” but of course today we know this as “trick-or-treat.”
In 2020, Halloween might be a little different than previous years. As we said, we’re going to a drive through Halloween cinema in York in our respective households. Following the social distancing guidelines is easier in cars! There’s also a few pumpkin patches which are open over the Halloween period which we might pay a visit to so we can have a carving competition! Our favourite is at Farmer Copleys where this photo was taken…
We hope you have a spooky Halloween – is anyone with us on Christmas planning beginning November 1st….? Keep up with our Christmas plans on our Instagram!