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Halloween

Traditional Halloween celebrations and customs in England and the rest of Great Britain.

image: boy dressed up as ghoulOn October 31st, we celebrate Halloween,thought to be the one night of the year when ghosts, witches, and fairies are especially active.

Why do we celebrate halloween?

The easy answer to this question is that no one really knows the origins of Halloween.

What we do know for sure is that Halloween is on the eve of a major Catholic festival, All Saints (1st November) and the eve of the pagan Celtic festival known as Samhain.

image: witch costumeThe three days between 31st October and 2nd November see pagan and Christian celebrations intertwined in a fascinating way and is a perfect example of superstition struggling with religious belief.

Currently, it is widely thought that Halloween originated as a pagan Celtic festival of the dead related to the Irish and Scottish Samhain, but there is no evidence that it was connected with the dead in pre-Christian times.
( source: Stations of the Sun by Ronald Hutton pages 360-70)

On the following page we will outline some of the facts, so you can decide for yourself, and join the debate, of the origins of Halloween.

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> The History of Halloween
Why do we celebrate halloween?

pumkin> Traditions of Halloween
So why do we do what we do on Halloween Day, in England?

oween, jack o lanterns, halloween trick or treating, halloween pumpkin carving, halloween 2009,
halloween costumes, scary halloween,

image: pumpkinThe History of Halloween

Did you know: Our ancestors celebrated New Year on November 1st

Find out more about the history of Halloween on our new History of Halloween page.

Halloween in England was first known as Mischief Night. It was celebrated on 4 November. Find out more about Mischief Night.

 

image: pumpkin So why do we do what we do on Halloween Day, in England?

 

Jack-o-lanterns - Pumpkin Lanterns - Find out here

Fire - Find out here

Apple Bobbing - Find out here

Dressing up - Find out here

Trick or Treat - Find out here

Traditions and Superstitions of Halloween

Find out about the superstitions surrounding Halloween on our Halloween superstitions page

Comments about Halloween 2012

"I went trick or treating with my brother but I didn't have a bag so I used my witches hat!!!"

"I'm not allowed to go trick or treating. It is so unfair."

"Well this year were having the best Halloween party ever! We've decorated our house. There's pumpkins and scary things everywhere. My mums even cooked and made fantastic scary party food. I cant wait for the party I'm going trick or treating with my friend and her sister."

halloween, jack o lanterns, halloween trick or treating, halloween pumpkin carving, halloween 2009,
halloween costumes, scary halloween,

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© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

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Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites projectbritain.com and primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.