So what’s our obsession with Halloween? To state the obvious, it features witches, pumpkins, fangs, lanterns, sweets, pranks and great excitement amongst small people. Basically, it’s a good excuse for a jolly. Dress up on a dark evening, have fun with a bunch of mates and overdose on sugary treats. Hopefully, all supervised by a responsible adult or two. Get into the spooky spirit with some scary plants...
The celebration of the season has moved a long way away from the origins of ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ or ‘hallowed evening’ when people dressed up as saints and visited homes during the time of ‘Allhallowtide’. They remembered various saints (known as hallows), martyrs and other departed souls who were dear. This has led us along to our present-day form of Trick or Treating.
People of yore would go from door to door, asking for food during harvest when some seemed to have a surplus. In exchange for items for the larder, visitors would sing songs, recite poems or say prayers. They were often rewarded with ‘soul cakes’ which were little buns with a cross on top, rather like hot cross buns. When eaten, it was said that a spirit was freed from purgatory. It was also believed that Halloween was the night that a door between this world and the next was opened. Spirits were able to pass between the two, allowing communication between the living and the dead.
It now marks a relatively harmless way to end the summer and enjoy the harvest. A time during which crops are brought safely under cover, to be enjoyed during the following weeks and months when growth outdoors slows. In America, this celebration is said to represent one of the major commercial occasions. So it’s no great surprise that it has grown like Topsy here in the UK as organisations make the most of some extra business. Embracing the season is probably a sensible way to go. Like the march of time, it’s not going to stop just because you would prefer it to go away.
Entering into the Halloween ‘spirit’ can be a lot of fun and there are plenty of scary beasts out there that can haunt your house or act as a witch’s muse. It all depends on how you look at things.
Many of these plants available from Perfectplants.co.uk