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As it is already this time of year, although the weather doesn’t seem in sync with it at the moment, I thought about what Halloween really is, as it can’t have always been about costume parties in the past…
Nowadays, we carve pumpkins, go ‘trick or treating’ and have costume parties, but as you would imagine, the idea of Halloween has changed significantly over the years.
Supposedly, much like the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’, Halloween is a day of the year which is dedicated to remembering the dead. The most commonly recognised symbol for Halloween has to be a pumpkin, or a ‘Jack o’ lantern’ which refers to a carved and lit pumpkin. It isn’t very clear where jack o’ lanterns came from, but it is thought that the face that is normally carved into a pumpkin was used to represent a soul of the deceased. Some people prefer to carve turnips instead, although the numbers of people that carve turnips are definitely a minority.
Unfortunately, Halloween is one of those things in the past that we don’t really know much about, it’s just there and we don’t really know why. The origins of Halloween supposedly lie with Christians, and the Irish, but again, we’re not too sure. Now, after reading this, you probably won’t have learnt very much about Halloween, and I have to say that I’ve learnt less than I thought I would, purely because there isn’t that much to know. But, anyway, I thought I’d leave you with nice little Irish folktale that is associated with the Jack o’lantern: