Halloween In England
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History

All Saints' Day, (All Hallows Day) became fixed on 1 November in 835, and All Souls' Day on 2 November, circa 998. On All Souls' Eve, families stayed up late, and little "soul cakes" were eaten by everyone. At the stroke of midnight, there was solemn silence among households, which had candles burning in every room to guide the souls back to visit their earthly homes and a glass of wine on the table to refresh them. The tradition of giving soul cakes that originated in Britain and Ireland was known as souling, often seen as the origin of modern Trick or Treating in North America, and souling continued in areas of northern England as late as the 1930s, with children going from door to door singing songs and saying prayers for the dead in return for cakes or money. The English Reformation in the 16th century de-emphasised holidays like All Hallows Day or All Souls Day and their associated eves.

Traditions
In parts of northern England, there is a traditional festival called Mischief night, which falls on the 30th of October. During the celebration, children play a range of "tricks" (ranging from minor to more serious) on adults. One of the more serious tricks might include the unhinging of garden gates (which were often thrown into ponds or moved far away). In recent years, such acts have occasionally escalated to extreme vandalism, sometimes involving street fires.

Bobbing for apples is a well-established association with Halloween. In the game, attempts are made (using only one's mouth) to catch an apple placed in a water-filled barrel. Once an apple is caught, it is sometimes peeled and tossed over the shoulder in the hope that the strips would fall into the shape of a letter, which would be the first initial of the participant's true love.

Other traditions include making toffee apples and apple tarts. Apple tarts may be baked with a coin hidden inside, and nuts of all types are traditional Halloween fare.

There has been increasing concern about the potential for antisocial behaviour, particularly among older teenagers, on Halloween. Cases of houses being "egg-bombed" or having lit fireworks posted through the letterbox (especially when the occupants do not give money or gifts) have been reported, and the BBC reported that for Halloween 2006, police forces stepped up patrols to respond to such mischief.
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See: Halloween around the world

Categories:
Halloween  Halloween Events  October Observances   •

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Resources: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia/article halloween /and other related pages. Top Photo: stock
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