Halloween lurks in the shadows, ready to pounce again and this year we have seen whole houses decorated in macabre dressings…
When Sara popped along to take a picture of the house immediately above, she discovered that the guy behind it is known as the Gingerbread Man and he's quite popular locally for his artwork. Listen to the interview here.
Halloween - the History
All Hallows Eve (Halloween) is rooted in Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or "darker-half" of the year. In the northern hemisphere, it is held on 1 November, but with celebrations beginning on the evening of 31 October, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset (just as the seed in the dark earth is beginning of life).
This is about halfway between the autumn equinox and winter solstice. It is one of the four quarter days associated with Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasa. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man (where it is called 'Sauin'). A similar festival was held by the Brittonic Celtic people, called Calan Gaeaf in Wales, Kalan Gwav in Cornwall, and Kalan Goañv in Brittany.
Like Beltane, Samhain was a liminal or threshold festival, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld thinned, meaning the Aos Sí (the 'spirits' or 'fairies') could more easily come into our world.
“Mumming” and “guising” were part of the festival from at least the early modern era, whereby people went door-to-door in costume reciting verses in exchange for food. Traditional illumination for guisers were hollowed out Turnips or Pumpkins acting as lanterns and carved with grotesque faces to ward off bad spirits...
In the 9th century, the Church had shifted the date of All Saints' Day to 1 November, while 2 November later became All Souls' Day. Over time, it is believed that Samhain and All Saints'/All Souls' influenced each other, and eventually syncretised into the modern Halloween.
Here is the Music Eye Top 20 for All Hallows Eve…
1. Don't fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
2. Ghosts - Japan
3. Spellbound - Siouxsie and the Banshees
4. The Witches Promise - Jethro Tull
5. Black Magic Woman - Santana
6. I Put a Spell on You - Nina Simone
7. Spooky - Dusty Springfield
8. Season of the Witch - Donovan
9. Born Under a Bad Sign - Cream
10. Witchcraft - Frank Sinatra
11. Hells Bells – AC/DC
12. People are Strange – The Doors
13. Thriller – Michael Jackson
14. Any Other Name – Thomas Newman (America Beauty)
15. Zombie – The Cranberries
16. Trickster – Sara Vian
17. Ghost Town – The Specials
18. Bela Lugosi's dead - Bauhaus
19. Brother Wolf, Sister Moon - The Cult
20. Anything by Strange Folk!
What are your favourites?
Thanks to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain