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      Halloween...did you know?

      Halloween...did you know?

      Some interesting facts about Halloween in UK 

      In Scotland and the Isle of Man, Halloween's Celtic roots are honoured through Samhain celebrations

      Hallowen in UK

      Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “sow-win”) is celebrated in Scotland, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and Ireland. 

      Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year and symbolised the divide between the world of the living and the world of the dead.

      Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November.

      Samhain celebrations feature rituals such as bonfires and dancing.

      Bonfire Night 

      Guy Fawkes Day (also known as Guy Fawkes Night and Bonfire Night) has historically been  and still is a big day in the UK calendar.

      Celebrated with parades, bonfires, and fireworks on November 5 ― you might be familiar with the rhyme "Remember, remember the fifth of November" Guy Fawkes Day commemorates the failed Gunpowder Plot. The scheme, orchestrated by Roman Catholics in 1605, was an attempt to blow up Parliament in response to King James I's refusal to expand the religious freedom of Catholics.

      Halloween's customs are scary

      In the UK, we stick to the more traditional horror-inspired ghost, vampire, zombie, Frankenstein, ghoul costumes.

      In the US, when kids go trick-or-treating, it seems any costume goes, even costumes that aren't necessarily 'Halloween-y' (including princesses, Spider-Man and so on).

      Trick or Treat

      Brits don't go wild with Halloween decor

      It's rare for people in the UK to put up an excessive amount of Halloween decorations although every year there seems to be more Brits getting in the spirit and decorating their homes.

       

      Trick-or-treating is more common in the US.

      Going door to door for  treats is not as a big a deal in the UK, however again there seems to more of growing trend within some age groups to get dressed up and go out trick or treating possibly with an adult in tow!

      Guising has a Scottish and Irish tradition

      Dating to the middle ages, guising ― a shortening of disguising ― refers to the tradition of dressing kids in old clothes and having them mimic evil spirits on Halloween (known then as the Eve of All Saints Day).

      Going from house to house, they would be given offerings for warding off evil.

      Today in Scotland, children still go guising.

      But they're expected to show off a talent (like singing or reciting a poem) in order to receive a treat.

      A city in Northern Ireland is famous for its annual, four-day-long Halloween fest.

      In Derry, the second-largest city in Northern Ireland, people celebrate Halloween with a four-day-long event called the Banks of the Foyle Carnival.

      The festivities include a haunted house, a parade, and more.

      In Scotland and Ireland, it's traditional to carve a swede or turnip instead of a pumpkin.

      Halloween UK

      Pumpkins are synonymous with autumn, and it's hard to think of Halloween without picturing a glowing jack-o'-lantern.

      People in some parts of the UK, however, make lanterns from other root vegetables ― namely, swedes or turnips.

      The practice can possibly be traced to an Irish legend about a man named Jack who was cursed to wander the Earth by the light of a turnip lantern.

      This is a very old tradition in Scotland and Ireland based on Celtic mythology.