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Samhain: scottish traditions

Hi witches. Samhain is finally here. Are you ready to celebrate? I would like to wish you an happy Samhain with some curiosities on how Samhain was celebrated in Scotland before everything was lost in time. Happy reading :D


🍂Jack-o-Lanterns was a turnip, not a pumpkin

In the original folklore, there was a man called Jack O'Lantern which was a ghostly figure who wandered the lands with a burning lump of coal inside a hollowed out turnip. People during Samhain would create their personal lantern using turnips. By the 1800s when Scottish and Irish communities immigrated to US, they started using pumpkins instead of turnip for their lanterns.


🍂Halloween existed to drive evil spirits away

Now halloween is just for fun and dress up, but for Scottish ancestors was a very serious festivity, the veil between their world and the world of evil spirits was very thin which threatened them and their land. Samhain was all about protection from the spirits.


🍂Costumes were much creepier

Pretty much they were dressed up with skins and heads of animals. More terrifying you looked the better.


🍂"Guising" not "trick-or-treating"

Only recently 'trick or treat' started to be used in Scotland, 'guising' was used before that. This refers to the custom to dress up.