Photo-a-Day (Tuesday, 26th October, 2021)
I love seeing pumpkins in the shops and in people's windows at this time of year. I know many people don't like the way Hallowe'en has become popular in this country but when I was a child in the early 1960s it held for me a fascination which was apparently lost on everyone else. I can remember flicking between the television channels, (all two of them, AND you had to get up off your bottom and do it manually!), when the local news programmes, (Look North and Scene at Six Thirty), were on, in the hope it would get a mention, (it didn't). So of course I am now living the Hallowe'ens I missed as a child and was thrilled when we got our caravan a few years ago, in sight of Pendle Hill. How I longed to see it on Hallowe'en night and finally live my dream... (Of course by five thirty it was pitch black and I couldn't see a thing!) C'est la vie!
I think the problem is with the Americanisation of Halloween, particularly the Trick or Treat aspect of kids going round. In the 1950s and 60s Halloween was huge for us but it was all about paries (including Church School and Sunday School ones) with special food - treacle toffee etc and games - bobbing for apples. Much more fun.
Pumkins for sale in the shops are about £2 for a good sized one. Some farms were you pick your own are charging more than that to park
Halloween was virtually unheard of when I was a kid of about 6 or 7 years old the teacher at school mentioned Halloween and nobody knew what she was talking about. For a few years after that some kids would make a Halloween lantern by hollowing out a large turnip or Swede and putting a candle inside it. Pumpkins were unheard of, I can't remember seeing a pumpkin anywhere till about the early 1990's.
The fields at this time of the year are full of nike welly wearing young mothers and there kids picking these pumpkins.
When these things are hollowed out what happens to the flesh, is it used or binned? If that is the case then IMO such a waste of time to grow, harvest and most of all useless waste of good land for food crops. Why not have an artificial one to be used annually? Christmas trees are are produced to be used this way.
If these are grown in the countryside, does that make them pumpkins for bumpkins?
Last night I saw an orange head
Flickering in a hellish flame
The carved out mouth held a ghastly smile
I asked the phantom of it's name .
The ghoul laughed out , " I am the dead
Remains of she who was burned alive
In the year of 1612
Upon the moors 'neath Pendle Hill ,
Remember that vile and dreadful scene
This dismal night of Halloween ".
Then a cold wind blew and the mist came down
And those gory eyes that had gazed and leered
Was quenched in the rain
And disappeared .
I was stood in a queue in Wilkinson's the other day and all at once I heard a loud American voice shouting " Get me outa here! "( amongst other things American) It was a skeleton in a cage! By Jove it didn't half rattle that cage. I nearly jumped out of my skin as it only spoke as I walked past. I must say I was fascinated with it.... but I have never bothered with Halloween, at school we were taught it was All Souls Day and we should pray for the dead.
No pumpkins when I was a child but we did celebrate Halloween. We bobbed for apples in a bowl of water, peeled them in one go, tossed the peel over our shoulders to see the first name of the man we would marry, ate toffe apples. Harmless fun not like the commercialism of today.
And pumpkins are tasty roasted with garlic...oh yes they are !!
Excellent, Poet! I have a poem that I say every First of October about Pendle and its surroundings. It's quite long so I won't put it on and it's not my poem, it's just one I memorised. I use the flesh, Anne, but you can also put them out for wildlife to eat. A.W.....those turnips were such hard work to carve out into a lantern, and oh! the pong! My pumpkin "glows" in the window and I am always being asked how I do it! However, for various reasons I have had an artificial one last year and this.
Veronica, for the record, you will have been taught that it was the Eve of All Saints Day (November 1st). All Souls Day is November 2nd.
I like the French tradition of visiting cemeteries on 'Toussaint' and leaving chrysanthemums on the family graves. It's worth remembering that if you're ever thinking of giving chrysanthemums as a present to a French person - don't.
Halloween - the een (the day before) All Hallows - Saxon version of All Saints. The evening before, the evil spirits had free range.
Americanised to pumpkins and Haribo sweets.
No proper ghosties now, just Netflix wannabees and stage make up.
I had an old white pillow case with two eye holes.
Yes you're right of course Reverend. I very often get my dates mixed up. Still it seems more appropriate
somehow with the skeletons and ghosts and witches...very Pagan I must say...
Never had it anywhere else except on holiday on Cyprus, but pumpkin soup is delicious.
Yes Anne a useless waste of good land for food crops and you can bet the pumpkin pulp will be just chucked in the bin, and the Halloweeeeny celebration food will be Iceland burgers and sausages.
Peril screams the Wood stock ,
The timber roars it’s flame ,
Hypocrisy of a whisper ,and religions challenged name .
Truth unknown to no one ,
Just fear that holds a thorn ,
Doubt has brought a question
best burn the seed fore born ..
Alas this changes nothing ,
an innocent seed can’t die ,
A witch song sings forever
As truth, won’t burn
or try ...
Mick: My god lad your a bundle of laughs, remind me to take you for a pint some time, you can play wit dog.
No Anne, the flesh is not wasted, it's made into pumpkin pie.
If you do take him for a pint John G you better get a double for yourself as well…. not forgetting something bracing for the dog.