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To disagree that Halloween is "American"

(99 Posts)
allytjd Sat 01-Nov-08 15:40:49

I'm a bit annoyed that loads of people have been moaning about Halloween, saying they don't like it because its American, even DS1's French teacher (who is french) repeated this to the whole class. The phrase "trick or treat" is american and so are pumpkins but the rest, dressing up, lanterns, children being given treats etc, are very traditional up here in Scotland and have always been a much bigger thing than bonfire night up here.
We have traditional games, and traditional foods for halloween and we have been doing them for hundreds of years - Where do you think the Americans got their traditions from?
It is a combination of anti-Americanism and ignorance about non-English traditions and it really annoys me! Its supposed to be fun!

AbbaFan Sat 01-Nov-08 15:43:07

I agree. Every year people moan about Halloween, it's getting boring.

Next it will be all the anti-firework moaning.

Tortington Sat 01-Nov-08 15:43:18

halloween was always a non event - it was bonfire night wherewe went doot to door - agree, americanization - not american

nickytwooootimes Sat 01-Nov-08 15:44:38

Oh, we always went guising too.
I think in Ireland it is/was a fairly big thing too?
I think the commercialisation is seen as American, but yesm there is a long tradition of celebrating Halloween up here. Dad used to carve us a turnip - he must've been well 'ard!

combustiblelemon Sat 01-Nov-08 15:44:49

I hate halloween. It's just a Scottish import wink

nickytwooootimes Sat 01-Nov-08 15:45:39

(I was going to put neep, but decided to use the other word!)

expatinscotland Sat 01-Nov-08 15:47:29

it's Celtic.

Englanders don't do it so much.

But Scottish have done it as much as Americans for donks.

Here in the Highlands, EVERYONE was dressed up, even the teachers and nursery workers.

The girls went guising and then DH took them to a huge party in the forest where htere was dooking for apples, contests, scary walks in the forest, etc.

And shops just west of Glasgow were full of people buying guising costumes.

Who cares about some English chap who tried to blow up Parliament in Westminster? That may as well be on the moon it's so far-removed from here. Too bad he wasn't successful .

AuraofDora Sat 01-Nov-08 15:50:34

lol scottish import

remember carving neeps
remember breaking cutlery

its much easier to do pumpkins and they make a tastier pie! wink

dont like trick treating, what does it really mean anyway ..if you say TRICK can you play a trick on them or do they egg yer door?
anyone know?

frasersmummy Sat 01-Nov-08 15:50:39


Halloween came from the combination of 2 ancient festivals, at least one of which was celtic.

Long before the festival became americanised we made jack o lanterns from turnips rather than pumpkins .. and we we went guising rather than trick or treating

and unless I'm mistaken doukin' for apples is a scottisht term as well

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 01-Nov-08 15:52:47

Did you know that carved turnips (pumpkins much easier) represent the decapitated heads of enemies, which our Celtic ancestors used to put on spikes round their settlements as a warning? shock Can't remember where I read that though, maybe it's an anti-Celtic myth put about by the Romans.

jasper Sat 01-Nov-08 15:57:36

Very long tradition of halloween in Scotland.

My granny went guising as a child!

I did too last night!

2shoespunk Sat 01-Nov-08 15:59:08

what custy said

LittleWhizzingBella Sat 01-Nov-08 16:01:30

Nah we're just re-claiming lost traditions

Am looking forward to a few more druid traditions entering the culture. It must be nearly human sacrifice season, mustn't it?

SugarBird Sat 01-Nov-08 16:18:50

Guising is great - kids dress up and (hope to!) get a treat for performing a trick, such as a song or telling a joke. Trick or treat is horrible imho - give us a treat or we'll play a trick on you. Seems like a big difference to me...

Scotia Sat 01-Nov-08 16:22:20

YANBU. For the first time I can remember, I never saw a single guiser last night sad, although to be fair the weather was atrocious here. We dressed up ds and went to my mums for a party. He loved it

Pruners Sat 01-Nov-08 16:23:57

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OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 01-Nov-08 16:30:35

"By LittleWhizzingBella on Sat 01-Nov-08 16:01:30
Nah we're just re-claiming lost traditions

Am looking forward to a few more druid traditions entering the culture. "

I always associate druids with Wales rather than Scotland. hmm

allytjd Sat 01-Nov-08 16:37:26

Thanks for answering my thread folks, I usually manage to kill threads (not very good at being pithy and concise) so i'm excited to start one. I must admit that I carved a pumpkin rather than a turnip this year but in my defence I grew the pumpkin so its a Scottish pumpkin (and my neeps are only the size of tennis balls this year). Next year I quite fancy going to the Beltane thing in Edinburgh as DS1 is so shy he finds guising torture (I enjoy making the costumes and all that tho'!). Had to listen to a lot of terrible old jokes last night.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 01-Nov-08 16:38:06

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StewieGriffinsMom Sat 01-Nov-08 16:40:21

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OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 01-Nov-08 16:44:38

So the egging thing is actually the English (and Welsh? dunno) evolution of the American version of the Celtic tradition?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 01-Nov-08 16:45:03

Does the egging thing happen in Scotland too?

Pruners Sat 01-Nov-08 16:45:11

Message withdrawn

Lapsedrunner Sat 01-Nov-08 16:45:58

It's hardly American in origin...."The term Halloween is shortened from All Hallows' Even (both "even" and "eve" are abbreviations of "evening," but "Halloween" gets its "n" from "even") as it is the eve of "All Hallows' Day,"[6] which is now also known as All Saints' Day. It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions,[7] until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 (which had itself been the date of a pagan holiday, the Feast of the Lemures) to November 1. In the ninth century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Although All Saints' Day is now considered to occur one day after Halloween, the two holidays were, at that time, celebrated on the same day. Liturgically, the Church traditionally celebrated that day as the Vigil of All Saints, and, until 1970, a day of fasting as well. Like other vigils, it was celebrated on the previous day if it fell on a Sunday, although secular celebrations of the holiday remained on the 31st. The Vigil was suppressed in 1955, but was later restored in the post-Vatican II calendar."

LittleWhizzingBella Sat 01-Nov-08 16:48:11

druids aren't just wales. Also associate with stonehenge etc.

I wasn't being country specific oldlady or even druid specific, just old so hmm back to you

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