By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

I have always been a bit unsure about celebrating Halloween, probably because in my youth such a thing didn’t really exist in our town.

What hapens to all the pumpkins after Halloween is over I ask myself? Pies or soup or does the candlewax give an odd taste?

The big event was Guy Fawkes Night when we spent time pinching or begging old clothing (and sometimes not such old clothing!) from our parents so that we could build a large guy, put him in a barrow or pram and wheel him around asking for a penny for the guy. Finally on November 5th he would be burnt atop a bonfire in the back garden.

 I don’t remember pumpkins nor dressing up, ghouls, ghosts or wanting to scare someone and there was certainly no trick or treating.

Today all that has changed and for the last few weeks Just about Travel has been inundated – well more than a couple each day – with ideas for the ten scariest places to see in different parts of the UK and Ireland or haunted houses to visit.

Such a phenomenon has it become that we have listed over a thousand events that are coming up in the next few days that you might want to considering seeing. Some events have been operating for weeks in the run up to Halloween and some are just happening on one day.

The old pagan Celtic festival of Samhain appears to be the source of Halloween but ut is the Americans who have really put it on to the international map as an event.

In mediaeval times it seems that it was a day when people visited houses asking for donations in return from giving a prayer for the dead members of the family. As they went from house-to-house a hollowed out turnip provided light as darkness fell. The replacement of turnips by pumpkins seems to be a nineteenth century change and was again stimulated by Americans who, perhaps, didn’t have as many turnips as they had pumpkins.

Today ghost costumes are still available but so are little princess outfits as well as much more adult ones suggesting that the day has just become a reason to party. Nothing wrong with that other than commercialism that old humbugs like me see and have seen in shops for what seems months.

If a Halloween celebration is on your list of things to do in the next few days then you should find something on our lengthening list of events.

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