Planning to celebrate Halloween? With the current forecast temperatures, it’s certainly going to be a warm one.
It’ll be an estimated 17degrees here in Reading, albeit with earlier rain that might dampen spirits a little.
To celebrate, we updated our surprising links between load cells and Halloween traditions that date back centuries.
The origins of Halloween
Halloween’s origins are in the Celtic Festival of Samhain, translated as summer’s end. This festival marked the start of winter and also the day with the dead returned to walk the earth. The Celts lit bonfires and flames from that secret fire were taken back to their homes to light their own fires, ready for the winter.
All Saints Day on 1 November was instigated by Pope Gregory in the 8th century, and was celebrated with parades, bonfires and folks dressed up in angel or devil costumes. All Saints Day was also known as All-hallows, and therefore the night before became All Hallows Eve, or Halloween.
You may think that this is purely an American import or a cunning plan by the world’s confectionary companies to boost trade! However, the origins lie in the medieval Church tradition when the poor of the parish would be given “soul cakes”, sweet pastries given by families so that the poor would pray for their dead relatives.
Over time, this became the practice of “going a-souling”, where local children would visit neighbours and be given food, drink and a little money.
We’re not quite sure when Halloween costumes changed from wicked witches and diabolical demons to Hollywood superheroes, but we expect our fair share of Spidermen and Wonder Women on the doorstep this year. And with Frozen II reigniting the interest in all things icy, you might get a few Elsas too!
When the Romans turned up and conquered Britain, they merged the Celtic festivals with their own. Halloween arose from a blend of Feralia, a day for the dead, and a feast day for the goddess of fruit, Pomona. This is probably where the traditional bobbing for apples came from.
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