Ye olde Halloween facts you never knew!

Halloween is only a matter of days away now, and scores of children and grownups are dressing up to mark the occasion, either at home or at one of our static caravans for sale in Wales. But have you ever wondered why it is we celebrate Halloween? And have you thought about why we take part in the customs associated with the annual event? We thought we’d take a look and find out for you. Here’s what we found:Halloween is more than 2000 years old The origins of Halloween can be traced back to an ancient Celtic festival, by the name of Samhain. This age old festival used to be celebrated on 1st November. Back then the Celts lived in what is now known as the UK, Ireland and Northern France, and on this date they would celebrate their New Year. This was marked as a time when people gathered resources as well as collecting their animals from pasture. Some experts also state that Samhain was used as a time for the Celts to ‘communicate with the dead’! Pumpkins weren’t always a thing The pumpkin is probably something we most associate with Halloween. Carving pumpkins, lighting them up from inside and making them look generally awesome! But this wasn’t always the case. Originally, people would hollow out turnips, and carve an image of a normal human face into them, followed by placing a candle inside. Children who followed the Catholic faith would then carry around these lanterns to houses and ask for “soul cakes”, an early form of what we know today as trick or treating. However, kids being kids, it didn’t take long before the rascally youngsters started carving ghoulish and scary faces into the turnips to try and scare their elder residents. This practise followed the Irish immigrants when they shipped off to America, and was then transferred to the pumpkin as it was much more widely available there.   Tomfoolery and mischief During the late 1800s, Halloween was all about the pranks and tomfoolery. The most common pranks included opening the gates of farmers’ fields, allowing their cattle and other livestock to roam free, pushing over outhouses, as well egging houses. Come the 1930s, the “trick” aspect of trick and treat was at a stage where things were simply out of hand, therefore was just replaced with the treat element, with people giving out sweet treats, minus the egging etc.! Fancy dress Hundreds of years ago, when winter was on the way people would get really anxious. The winter weather meant that food levels would often run low. This, teamed with shorter, darker days made people feel apprehensive. Halloween was also thought to be a time used for communicating with the dead, and when ghosts came back to the land of the living, so back then with all these things combined, you can understand why people were a bit scared! But they had a way of getting away from their fears; they wouldn’t leave their houses, and they would wrap up in extra layers of clothing to keep warm. The final thing was arguably most important to them; they would wear masks so that ghosts wouldn’t recognise them, and some say this is where the mask wearing idea comes from for Halloween.

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