Holidays Vivian | 06 Sep 2010 11:39 am

Halloween at Home

Halloween is without a doubt the spookiest of the holidays and has been celebrated since the 19th Century right up until the present day. Halloween falls on the 31st October and is renowned as the night when all things supernatural are especially active.

The origins of Halloween are somewhat blurry but are often linked to the Roman Catholic Church which in the year 835AD made 1st November a church holiday to honour all the saints. Although essentially a celebration, this holiday fell on the eve of All Souls Day, so in medieval times it became customary to pray for the dead on this date.

The name Halloween is believed to be connected to All Saints Day, another name for which is ‘All Hallows’, hallow being an archaic English word for ‘saint’. All Saints festival began on All Hallows Eve, the last night of October, and so the name Halloween was born.

Another connection with Halloween is that of the Celts who thought the long hours of winter darkness brought with them spirits and supernatural beings. In an attempt to frighten spirits and keep them at bay the Celts used to build bonfires, a tradition still carried out today.

Pumpkin lanterns are another deviation of this belief and are an easy way to decorate your home for Halloween. If you fancy distributing a few jack-o-lanterns around your home you can have fun carving out the spooky faces and also use the seeds and flesh of the pumpkin to make tasty pies and soups. The perfect food to serve at your Halloween party!

There are plenty of other things you can do to your home furnishings to create an extra ghoulish setting and whether your style is classic, country or contemporary there are numerous ways to dress your home for Halloween.

Halloween wreaths can be made out of seasonal leaves and shrubbery won’t look out of place in any home as you can either keep them natural and simple for more classic homes or add creepy bits and bobs to suit your taste. These can be placed on mantelpieces, front doors or anywhere you fancy.

Another simple yet effective way to decorate your home is by placing orange coloured flowers in black baskets and scattering throughout the house. This creates a subtle and tasteful look that would work in any house whatever its style.

Dressing yourself in special Halloween themed costumes is another tradition with European and Celtic roots. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts could walk the earth, people feared they would encounter these evil spirits if they left their homes. And to avoid being harmed by ghosts and ghouls people would wear masks if they went outside after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. This is just another Halloween tradition which is still popular today and no doubt will be for many more years to come.

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