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Halloween
 
The Celtic festival Samhain is one of the four quarter festivals. In Gaelic it is Samhuinn which means hallow tide or season, the feast of all-souls. The souls of all the dead are said to be free on that day, 1st November. 1st November was the first day of the Celtic new year and the transition between old and new year was believed to set free evil spirits which would visit your house

Halloween is actually the night before where lanterns (Gaelic: samhnag), Hallowfires and such are supposed to scare the souls that will emerge at midnight, away from your house

Halloween customs in Scotland these days consist mainly of children going door to door "guising"  dressing up and offering entertainment of various sorts in return for gifts

The children are invariably dressed up as something supernatural or spooky and the entertainment usually consists of singing, telling a poem or joke etc. Hollowed out turnips (pumpkins are becoming more common, a tradition adopted from the US) with candles in them are sometimes displayed or carried

 Halloween parties often consisted of various games, for instance 'Dooking fur aiples' where the children had to bite apples floating in a bowl of water, once they had one by the teeth they could retreive and obtain it. Another game was 'treacle scones' where children had to eat a scone covered in treacle hanging on a piece of string

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My own first memory of Halloween, is of going guising with my brother from our grandparents house in Coatbridge. I don't remember what i was dressed up as, probably a witch, but i do remember arriving back at the house and being really pleased because i had been given a really big apple. My brother thought it was really funny. "You can't eat that," he laughed "It's a cooking apple!"
Seeing my disappointment my gran took my apple through to the kitchen and stewed it with some sugar for me. It tasted lovely and was nice and warm after being out in the cold!

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