Bonus Episode: Halloween

Bonus Episode: Halloween
Photo by Sabina Music Rich / Unsplash

It's that time of year again: get ready for tricks, treats, costumes and appropriately-timed bonus podcasts.

Arising (temporarily) from their slumbers in the deepest depths of the carpet shop, your hair-raising hosts are here to guide you through the terrifying yet fascinating history of everyone's second-favourite over-commercialised holiday: halloween.

"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes." - William Shakespeare

Did you know that the origins of halloween go back over a thousand years to an ancient pagan festival called Samhein? It was held every year on 1 November--about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice--when the pagan's believed the barrier between the living and spirit worlds was at its weakest.

People would light fires, play tricks on each other, feast and drink copious amounts of alcohol. If this is all starting to sound a bit familiar, that would be because--despite some meddling from the Catholic Church in the middle ages--many of our halloween traditions have survived unscathed from those ancient times.

It's a graveyard smash, it'll catch on in a flash--that's right: it's the Gallimaufry Halloween Bonus Podcast!

Whether you're the ghost with the most or you just don't know jack-o-lantern, join nightmareish Nick and wailing Will as we dive head-first into the punch bowl of terrifying traditions and fearsome festivals that is halloween.

Have a ghoulishly good time and we'll be back soon for more hodgepodge history banter in Series 2.

Sources

  • ‘BBC - Religions - Christianity: All Hallows’ Eve’. Accessed 25 October 2021. https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/halloween_1.shtml.
  • Cain, Juliana Kaplan, Áine. ‘The Dark History behind Halloween Is Even More Chilling than You Realized’. Business Insider. Accessed 25 October 2021. https://www.businessinsider.com/history-of-halloween-2017-10.
  • Editors, History com. ‘Halloween 2021’. HISTORY. Accessed 25 October 2021. https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween.
  • ‘Samhain’. HISTORY. Accessed 25 October 2021. https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/samhain.
  • ‘Foods of England - Dumb Cake’. Accessed 25 October 2021. http://www.foodsofengland.co.uk/dumbcake.htm.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica. ‘Halloween | Definition, History, & Facts’. Accessed 25 October 2021. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Halloween.
  • McDonnell, Sharon. ‘Here’s How Halloween Is Celebrated around the World’. Business Insider. Accessed 25 October 2021. https://www.businessinsider.com/how-halloween-is-celebrated-around-the-world-2017-10.
  • ‘Origins of Halloween and the Day of the Dead | NEH-Edsitement’. Accessed 26 October 2021. https://edsitement.neh.gov/closer-readings/origins-halloween-and-day-dead.
  • MSU Extension. ‘Pumpkin Carving: The History of the Jack-o’-Lantern’. Accessed 25 October 2021. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/pumpkin_carving_the_history_of_the_jack_o_lantern.
  • Richards, Alison. ‘The Secret, Steamy History Of Halloween Apples’. NPR, 31 October 2013, sec. Food History & Culture. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/10/30/241924745/the-secret-steamy-history-of-halloween-apples.