Hey-Ho for Hallowe’en

It’s October 31st, Hallowe’en. This is supposed to come from the pagan Irish festival of Samhain, but over a decade ago now Dr Ronald Hutton, a history professor at Bristol University, published an article criticising this view in the Earth Mysteries/ Alternative Archaeology magazine 3rd Stone. One of the postgraduate students in the religion department at Bristol University was studying it, however, and she found that it did come from Ireland. So what the real origin of Hallowe’en is I have no idea.

One of the children’s books I had when I was young was The Beaver Book of Creepy Verse, which had this little rhyme:

Hey-ho for Hallowe’en

And the witches to be seen.

Some black and some green.

Hey-ho for Hallowe’en.

Which is obviously great fun if you’re a small child, but isn’t going to win any literary awards.

In Somerset the Jack O’ Lanterns made at this time of year were called ‘punkies’ and there was a doggerel verse about how this was ‘punkie night’. Not obviously to be confused with punks, however, despite the physical similarity some people might have to pumpkins.

Thanks to the Coronavirus, going to parties is out of the question. Many cities are ascending the tiers of restrictions the government has imposed, and I’ve heard that it’s likely that the government will imposed a general lockdown sometime next week. But I hope everyone will nevertheless have a great day, and a bit of spooky fun if they want. Even if it just watching a horror video with the peeps in your social bubble.

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One Response to “Hey-Ho for Hallowe’en”

  1. trev Says:

    I’ve no idea of the origins of Halloween. I know it seems to have become a much bigger thing, and more Americanized, than it used to be, more commercial too. When I was a kid we’d never seen a pumpkin, we made lanterns out of swedes, but which we mistakenly called turnips, something that still confuses me, anyway it was those larger purple ones that we hollowed out into lanterns with a candle inside. I don’t remember there being loads of Halloween products on sale in all the shops.
    In more recent years I read in the memoirs of a British ‘Mystic’ (for want of a better word) named Wellesley Tudor Pole (the grandfather of singer Edward Tudor Pole aka ‘Ten Pole Tudor’ in his punk days) that it’s not a good thing to celebrate Halloween as the grotesque masks & costumes, etc. and the celebration of all things spooky/creepy only serves to attract lower discarnate spiritual entities of a less evolved nature (who remain closer to the physical earth plane) into your home, rather than frightening them away. If you tried to get that message across to the masses today you’d be accused of being a ‘kill-joy’ !

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