America Does Not Own Hallowe’en. In Fact, They STOLE It.

Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of its original title “All Hallows’ Evening”) is also originally known as All Hallows’ Eve.

It is a yearly holiday observed around the world on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. Most scholars believe that All Hallows’ Eve was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. It’s also when the dead come back for a bit and stuff – so I am told.

But Let’s talk pumpkins. Because in Scotland (Pagan Celtic central where Hallowe’en was big as Ben Hur and less tacky) we never EVER had pumpkins in the 1980s. Also – have you SEEN how much they cost these days? Jeez. No. We had turnips. Our Jack o’Lanterns were made of turnips. And because there were two of us kids, my father had to spend several hours in the garage with various tools, carving out two gruesome faces out of those hard unforgiving vegetables. No artistic pallette knife involved. Just a vice, a screwdriver, a hacksaw etc etc.

But finally, complete with their little lids and candles, our Jack O’Lanterns would be placed, lit, amazing at the front door. While my mother wrapped the house in black plastic, baked a ghost cake, hung treacle buns from the door frames and spiders webs from the ceiling and arranged the dookin for apples. Then Dad donned the most horrible scary mask and roared like a mentalist to my sister and I shut ourselves in the toilet for half an hour as we were dressed as ballerinas, shock wigged weirdos or something else Mum had dreamed up.

That’s fucking Hallowe’en people.


About ohhellwhatthehell

I like gin, mittens and otters, not necessarily in that order. Here's some stuff I felt like writing down when I'm not chained to a desk writing other things for a living. Please use caution when using this site; there may be sweary words, cute animals and general bullshit. Don't say I didn't fucking warn you.
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One Response to America Does Not Own Hallowe’en. In Fact, They STOLE It.

  1. Lisa says:

    Yes. YES. Just last night I was trying to explain this to people. It is NOT trick or treating, it is guising. And you only visit people you know, like all your grandma’s friends, and you have to DO shit, not just demand money and sweets (and when you do get money your mum will make you donate it to a local charity and you will get your picture in the Currie & Balerno news).
    And of course you use a tumshie instead of a pumpkin and yes, your dad will spend hours carving it. He will also save the scraped out insides, cook it and make you eat it (for years I assumed the tang of WD 40 was just what turnip tasted like, rather than a side affect of the chisel used for hollowing it out).
    Samhain rules and Americans can fuck off.

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