What is it about Halloween, and what is Halloween all about?
If you’re anything like us, you can’t really be doing with all the Halloween hullaballoo. Just another meaningless, over-commercialised festival isn’t it?
Well hold on – didn’t most Halloween traditions originate in Britain?
Bonfires were part of the 2000-year old Celtic end-of-summer festival called Samhain, celebrated on 31 October. Samhain had plenty of supernatural associations and folk wore costumes to ward off roaming spirits and ghosts.
Over the centuries the Christian festival of All Saints Day, celebrated on 1 November, adopted some of the traditions of Samhain, and the evening before became All Hallows Eve – eventually Halloween. A-ha.
In Medieval Britain, children and the poor would go door-to-door ‘souling’ – getting food in return for prayers for the dead – the origin of trick-or-treating. Later, they carried carved turnip lanterns to ward off the dead – or to play tricks on those with a weak disposition. Naughty naughty. Irish immigrants then took the tradition to America where turnips were replaced by pumpkins.
So, maybe we should be reclaiming and celebrating our heritage?
Well either way, carving pumpkins isn’t all about spending money. It’s about spending creative time together making cool lanterns and great memories.
(First published 2014)
We like to doodle our pumpkin designs in advance – you can try out different doodley faces, cats, bats or even the doodle-undead. Just doodle it freestyle, then pick your favourite designs and get 3-D with a pumpkin.
If you did want to buy something special for a Halloween party (oh yes, here’s the commercial!) you might try the doodle tablecloth. It's great for doodling ghoulish designs, with bags of room for all your friends and family to get spook-creative together.
The doodle tablecloth comes with a set of 10 double-ended doodle wash-out pens – perfect for designing your creepy pumpkin carvings or for customising the spine-chilling Halloween dinner table. Don't fancy a tablecloth? Try doodle placemats.
And after the party, nothing goes in the bin – just chuck your doodle ghosts in the (washing) machine and the ink will all wash out. Completely. 100%. (Unlike some poor imitations which can leave a ghost behind!)
No tricks – just treats.
But do watch out for wandering spirits. And wandering mixers. (Ice and a slice with that?)