Halloween goes by many names, depending on what culture or religion you belong to. Halloween, Samhain, El Día de Los Muertos or All Saints' Eve, to name the most popular. No matter what you call it, it is still a great excuse for celebrating, and compensating for these shorter and colder days. Here is some backgroud on the festival.
Samhain, pronounced "Sow-een" was a Celtic celebration of the end of the year. It was a time when the dead could return and cause trouble. Fires were lit and gifts were made to keep the spirits happy. Druids built large sacred fires, and it was thought that if you brought an ember from one of these into your house, no evil spirit could bother you. When the Romans arrived, the celebrations changed to suit their gods, and after they left a few hundred years later, Christianity took over. The church was keen to take over the old pagan festivals, and replace them with Christian meaning. Name changes from All Saints day to All Souls day, again celebrating the dead with parades and fires, then to Hallowmas, and eventually the current Halloween, a shortened version of All Hallows Eve.
Until recently Halloween was celebrated very differently depending which side of the Atlantic you were on, while the Americans were busy "Trick or Treating" and dressing up, us Brits were a bit less showy, we made do with a Swede with a candle instead of a pumpkin, and if you were lucky your mum and dad would let you stay up to watch the late horror film. A long way from todays celebrations.
No matter where you hail from, or what faith you follow, have a happy Halloween, and safe Trick or Treating. Follow the wise words below for safety advice on the night.
1. Keep to an area you know, and that is well lit and child friendly,
2. Remember, it will be dark very early by then, the clocks will have gone back. Think about starting early.
3. Take a battery powered light or lantern with you, it can add to the effect, and make you safe at the same time.
4. Be inventive with the fancy dress, but include bright colours, and reflective tape where possible.
5. Make sure a responsible grown up is with the kids at all times
6, Follow the basic road safety rules, look before crossing, and give motorists tim to see you too.
7. Stay in a group, spiltting into smaller parties will make it easy for someone to get lost or hurt.
No matter what your faith or beliefs, have a happy Halloween, and trick or treat nicely!
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An owner of Thebestof Portsmouth, I have lived in Portsmouth and Southsea all my life, so I like to think I have a good idea about what makes us tick. I am passionate about all things Portsmouth and Southsea,...