Back in the day the end of October & the first week in November spelled one thing: FIREWORKS & the run up to Bonfire Night. November 5th Festivities mark the anniversary of the discovery of a plot by Catholic conspirators to blow up the London Houses of Parliament in 1605, but Halloween has been celebrated by Celtic peoples for over 1200 years. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t originate from across The Pond either! It wasn’t until mass Irish & Scottish immigration in the 19th Century that Halloween became a major holiday in North America.
But what’s Halloween all about? The word comes from ‘Hallows Evening’ also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints Eve. Its a celebration observed in many countries on October 31st, the eve of the western Christian Feast of All Hallows Day. It begins the 3 day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the Christian Year dedicated to remembering & praying for the dead, including saints (hallows) martyrs and all the faithful departed (those that did not go to hell). Truth is, when you start diving deep into Halloween history it gets complicated. Google it sometime, read more about souling and guising, & you’ll quickly discover what’s behind today’s Fancy Dress, Masks, Tricks & Treats.
What’s the significance of Pumpkins? The tradition of carving faces into veggies or fruit dates back to the Celts too. Centuries ago, when harvest came to an end big bonfires were lit in fields to honour Celtic Gods. An ember was kept from the bonfire and villagers would light their own fires when they returned home in the belief it would bring them good fortune. They believed evil spirits lurked in the shadows around the fires, so they carved faces in large turnips, hollowed out the insides to carry a candle, and hoped the light shining forth would scare them away. Eventually these became known as Jack O’Lanterns after an Irish Farmer. In 1584 the French explorer Jacques Cartier discovered ‘gros melons’ growing in abundance around the Saint Lawrence area of North America. ‘Pompions’ became the term in English, and later, ‘Pumpkin’. Over time, pumpkins replaced turnips, as the best fruit for carving Jack O’Lanterns. (Pumpkins are fruits by the way, from the ‘gourd’ family which includes cucumbers, squash and water melons)
Why have we included Halloween here on Potless? With each passing year the celebrations get more elaborate, almost on a par with Christmas. There are few families with kids these days who don’t like to ‘push the boat out’ and party come October 31st. Outside decorations are popular; Do you need help to set them up or tear them down? What about pumpkins? Why not grow your own? Pumpkins are heavy. Do you need help with lifting? Pick them up from your local supermarket or better still a PYO Farm. Halloween’s a feast; Would you like help with catering at your Halloween BBQ or private party? Or with Halloween Costumes? Find people who can help make your Halloween Event a Success here on Potless. And don’t forget the pets! Dogs and cats can be scared by Halloween spookery & fireworks at Guy Fawkes so send them soemwhere safe. You can find friendly Pet Sitters HERE. Help4FREE, Help4HIRE, Barter 🎃
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