As the nights draw in and the clocks go back, the spookiness level goes up! From pumpkins carved with scary faces to ghoulish trick or treating, there’s a variety of activities taking place in different countries.
Halloween has evolved from a combination of festivals both pagan and Christian and has grown in popularity over the decades. Coinciding with the Roman Feralia and the Celtic Samhain festivals, the association with the dead goes back to those festivals when it was believed that the dead could cross over into the world of the living.
The carving of pumpkins has evolved from the old Samhain custom of carving designs into large beetroots or turnips to ward off the spirits and stop fairies from settling in the houses.
The large number of Irish immigrants that landed in the USA in the 1840s could not find large enough turnips to carve and so used the readily available pumpkins instead. The tradition then made its way back across the Atlantic and carved pumpkins, often with a candle glowing inside, can be found on many English doorsteps during Halloween.
In Cornwall, a Celtic stronghold, Halloween traditions are alive and well. At the National Trust’s Lanhydrock, not far from CLC Trenython Manor, there is a spooky trail between 22-30 October (10am – 4pm) for children, while adults can enjoy the Trust’s beautiful house and grounds.
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