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Welcome to The Primitive Cornish Hovel. A place where I will share my love of prim, vintage, family history, many interests & everyday life. I hope to show you a glimpse of a bygone age through the history of my family & the many 'treasures' I hold dear. Mixed in with this will be snippets of life today. Do drop in again for a visit to see what is happening at 'The Hovel'. Comments are welcomed.

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Friday, 31 October 2008

A Merry All Hallows Eve

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Welcome to the Hovel on this All Hallows Eve. A day of expectation that ends with a night of magic, trick or treat and lighted pumpkins. Sadly this year I will not be dressing up or decorating my house due to the builders transforming my bathroom!!!! My house has also been transformed to a place of dust, storage & mayhem. For example the new bath is in the lounge, the new shower in the hallway and the new toilet and sink in the kitchen. Climbing up the stairs is like tackling an assault course and the novelty of using the downstairs shower and toilet is losing its appeal (due to being outside in the utility room!!!!)....But that tale can wait for another time for tonight is Halloween or Samhain (pronounced "sow-en" and comes from the Gaelic “Samhuin,”) as it is known by Wiccans & Pagans......
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Halloween conjures up images of witches, goblins, ghosts and ghouls that appear as if by magic at our front doors when darkness falls. The giggles and smiling faces however tells us that they are nothing but children out Trick or Treating. It has been very quite this evening with only a few venturing to my door but the bowl of goodies is waiting for the brave and hardy.....

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For most of us Halloween is celebrated by children dressing up and going from door to door shouting ‘trick or treat’. Adults in turn also like to dress up and have a party and I for one have many happy memories of such times. Yet this night for Wiccans and Pagans it's considered a Sabbat to honor the ancestors who came before us. It is the time of year where the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest so souls of the dead can enter the land of the living. Also known as 'Ancestor night', All Hallows Eve is the night before All Saints Day, which is followed by All Souls Day on November 2nd. It is said to be the days when souls walked the Earth. There is an old English custom of "soul-caking," or "souling," when singers went about on these two days to beg for cakes in remembrance of the dead. It was also customary at Samhain to leave an empty chair and a plate of food for any dead guests, so that they would not be offended. At the stroke of midnight - believed to be the hour the dead visited - all remained silent in respect

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Another name for October 31st is 'The Oracle of the Nuts'. With the chill of autumn nights people would gather around their fires eating newly harvested hazelnuts or chestnuts. From throwing nuts into the fire several fortune-telling customs grew. One such custom was that a young man would give each nut the name of a possible sweetheart and watch to see which burned the brightest in the flames.......
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‘The Spell ~ John Gay’
Two hazel-nuts I threw into the flame,
And to each nut I gave a sweetheart’s name:
This with the loudest bounce me sore amazed,
That in a flame of brightest colour blazed;
As blazed the nut, so may thy passion grow,
For ’twas thy nut that did so brightly glow!

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Nuts were also used as magic charms at Halloween because here in Britain people believed that the Devil was a nut-gatherer.....
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Many other rituals and superstitions are associated with this night. From lighting bonfires to looking in a mirror to see the person you will marry. Unmarried women were told that if they sat in a darkened room and gazed into a mirror on Halloween night, the face of their future husband would appear in the mirror. However, if they were destined to die before marriage, a skull would appear.....
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Candles also play a major part in rituals performed on All Hallows Eve. One such ceremony, called the ‘Lating of the Witches’, took place at the Forest of Pendle in North Lancashire. Locals believed witches gathered here on this night, so between 11 p.m and midnight candles were lit and carried over the hill - lighting the witches or 'lating' them. If a candle stayed lit then the witches' power was broken, but if it went out - blown out by a witch - bad luck may follow.......
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A lighted candle is also seen inside a gorged out pumpkin, also known as Jack O’Lantern, a name believed to derive from an old Irish tale. It’s believed that a villain by the name of Jack was not allowed to enter Heaven or Hell when he died and was condemned to wander the land with only a candle, placed inside gorged out vegetable, to see his way. Thus he became known as ‘Jack of the Lantern’ or ‘Jack O’Latern’.......

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Alongside rituals and ceremonies games are also played. Most of us at sometime would have played ‘Apple Bobbing’ or ‘Snap Apple’ as it is known in Ireland. Great fun is had with this as you duck and dive to try and grasp the apple with your teeth. It is believed that girls who place the apple they bobbed under their pillows are said to dream of their future lover.....

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Believed to originate in Celtic times, when apples were associated with love or fertility, the game’s popularity is falling. There is however a variation on the game where the apples are hung on string on a line....

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I hope you had a merry Halloween and enjoyed the fun of Trick or Treat. As the bewitching hour is approaching I will say goodnight. Until next time.....lol....

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'If you go to a crossroads at Halloween and listen to the wind, you will learn all the most important things that will befall you during the next twelve months.....'

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'You should walk around your home three times backwards and counterclockwise before sunset on Halloween to ward off evil spirits.....'

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'If you ring a bell on Halloween, it will scare evil spirits away....'


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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh Chrissy, you always have the best history lesson for us, although i did know some of it..lol..
I hope you enjoyed giving out sweets to the few brave souls who came aknockin'..lol.
And now onto November already...soon be time to decorate for Christmas..{hope the renos are soon finished}
luv Ann.xx

KernowWitch said...

Thanks Ann, it's always great to have you pop by. It was so quite last night, even the usual younger ones didn't come knocking. It was very cold and I believe there was trouble with some teenagers, sad.....But I enjoyed it all the same....Hopefully the bathroom will be finished next week....Hugs Chrissy xx

annette emms said...

HI Chrissy. What a delightful cauldron full of spooktacular images and interestingly delicious snippets of info!
Wish I could have donned my witches hat and come calling!

KernowWitch said...

Thanks Annette, you would have been very welcomed, goodies & hot chocolate were waiting...lol...I love Halloween but not many came calling...Bonfire Night Next, then it will be Christmas. This years gone fast....Hugs Chrissy x

softinthehead said...

I enjoyed reading your post so much! I love Halloween and it has such a soft spot in my soul. I also enjoyed reading your "About Me" and the description of the "Hovel". It reminded me a bit about this old country store that I live in. I hope you will visit my blog again, I know I will visit yours. Pam

Linda said...

Hi Chrissy
Thanks for the comment and the lovely angel quote!
Linda x

KernowWitch said...

Thanks Pam...I love Halloween & was disappointed I couldn't celebrate as usual this year. I visit your blog regularly and love your work...Hugs Chrissy x

KernowWitch said...

A comment well deserved Linda...My son used to giggle and wave over my shoulder as a baby when there were only us 2 in the room!!!.....Hugs Chrissy x