Ghouls and gunpowder
THE smell of wood smoke, gunpowder and face paint herald the arrival of cackle and crackle time, where witches and ghouls get out and about, followed quickly by whizzes and bangs. Halloween will see youngsters out trick and treating tomorrow (Friday) night before attention turns to firework displays. But if your youngsters go trick and treating please make sure they avoid the homes of elderly neighbours who don’t necessarily appreciate receiving a knock on their door after dark. Halloween is a festival with its roots lying in two separate cultures. In its modern form it’s a far cry from All Hallow’s Eve – literally the eve of Saints’ Day. Originally intended to honour the saints, early Christianity reckoned it was a day when souls were released from purgatory to walk the earth for 48 hours; hence the popularity of ghost costumes. It also happened to coincide with the pagan festival of Samhain. Some people have said that the date was chosen deliberately as people would already have been celebrating and would have been unwilling to give up their frolics for the new-fangled Christianity. Either way, the disparate festivals combined and we have a modern, secular celebration. As for fireworks night, everyone knows how Guy Fawkes and his band of terrorists allegedly tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Or were they framed? Who cares, let’s have a bonfire! But if you’re planning a firework party make sure you follow the firework manufacturers’ instructions and ensure cats and kittens are safe. The best bet is to attend an organised display and there’s a wide choice of them happening over the next week or so across the area.
It will be all fright on the night