Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!!

On this very spooky night, I wonder where the idea of Halloween came from!!
It must be Halloween..........there were scores of children roaming the streets near me, bags ready and costumes on to ask for treats to prevent a trick!! I have often wondered where exactly the whole concept of 31st October being Halloween, so I looked into the origins of this celebration.

Halloween. or All Hallows Eve, is linked to the old Celtic festival of Samhain (which translates as "summers end") This festival was for people to stock take and prepare for the long winter months. To aid them in this, people would light bonfires to ward of evil spirits as it was seen that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and therefore magical things could occur.

Trick or treating actually found its way over in the Uk from the US and Canada. In Scotland they go "guising" where the children have to do a dance or sing a song before they are given treats. I personally do not know how to feel about trick or treating. My parents always taught me that it was begging and it can be so dangerous for children to be knocking on strangers doors. I do prefer to see children accompanied by adults if they are going to go out, and definitely feel it is better if it is peoples houses that they know on which they visit. It is a very controversial subject with some people.

I have worked in some nurseries which do not celebrate Halloween within their setting because some parents prefer that the whole subject of worshipping the dead is not touched upon. I have also worked in places which have truly embraced the celebration, throwing brilliant fancy dress parties and taking part in some fabulous messy activities!!!

Whether you like this celebration or not, Halloween is so heavily advertised and marketed at this time of year, that it is hard to keep children away from it!! Sometimes perhaps it is fun to get in the spirit of things, if you excuse the pun!!!

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