29. Oct, 2014

When souls of the dead come to dinner....

Many years ago when the harvest season ended and winter began, in homes across the county, places were set at the dinner table to welcome the souls of the dead. This ritual was performed one night every year and became known as All Hallows Eve....Halloween!

     On All Hallows Eve, church bells could be heard across Europe for the souls in purgatory. Dressed in black, criers would parade the streets whilst ringing a bell of woeful sound and shouting for Christians to remember the poor souls. In Poland, believers would trek through the forests, praying aloud, so the souls of the dead might be comforted. And as far back as the 15th century, poor people and children would knock on doors on All hallows Eve to collect soul cakes in exchange for prayers for the dead.

       As a child, I can remember quite well the goings on at our home on Halloween. Soup would be simmering beside the fire and a bowl of water filled with apples would be placed on the table. Then, with our hands kept behind our back, we would dunk our faces into the water and try to bite into an apple. I hated this game, especially if a few people played and everyone was laughing and spitting in the water, ugh! It was enough to put me off apples forever...but it didn’t!

        And so for Halloween I shall write a spooky tale. But for now, nos da, goodnight!