Happy Halloween

Halloween, on the 31st October, is what was known as ‘All Hallows’ Evening’, or ‘All Saints’ Eve. It is the eve of the western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day, when the triduum of Allhallowtide begins. This is the time in the liturgical year that is dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the departed believers. On All Hallows’ Evening it is the tradition to mock, humour and ridicule all things surrounding ‘death’.

240px-Jack-o'-Lantern_2003-10-31Halloween today is accompanied by all manner of festivities, such as costume parties, decorating the house, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns (devil’s faces), lighting bonfires, telling scary stories and watching horror films. There is also the favourite of children; trick-or-treating. Religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve include attending church and laying flowers and lighting candles on the graves of departed loved ones and even abstaining from eating meat. Candles were also burnt in every room to guide the souls back to visit their earthly homes and became known as ‘soul lights’. In some parts of Europe, it was believed that on Halloween, the dead rose from their graves for a night of a macabre and hideous celebration.

Halloween marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter. In this soon-to-be darker half of the year, spirits or fairies could enter our world easily and be very active. Part of the Halloween activities is to appease these evil or mischievous spirits and thus ensure that people and their livestock survived the winter months. Offerings of food and drink were left out for them.

Halloween is also a time when souls of the dead are said to revisit their homes. It was a tradition to set a place at the dinner table or by the fire to welcome them. This belief is ancient and can be found in many cultures around the world. Candles were lit, prayers said for the departed and then the party could begin, with eating and drinking and games. On this night, what the future held was also explored, especially in marriage and death. Apples and nuts were often used as divination tools; the flames, smoke and ashes from bonfires protecting the seer whilst the divination took place.

Wearing costumes at Halloween became popular in England in the 20th century, as did the custom of playing pranks. They were influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which have pagan roots. These can be seen from the medieval Gaelic calendar, celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Kindred festivals are also held at the same time of year in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany.

The Halloween costumes imitate or disguise the wearer and the door-to-door visits usually involved performance of some kind in exchange for food. These days of course, our kids just knock on the door for some goodies, usually sweets. The threats to do mischief if they are not given their ‘treat’, comes from an old Scottish tradition. If the household donated food it could expect good fortune; not doing so would bring misfortune.

Halloween_SwedenHalloween and its practices were frowned upon by many Christians during the Reformation as being a ‘popish’ doctrine and the so-called returning souls were said to be evil spirits and their company, witches, not the returning souls of loved ones. Thus a whole list of rituals emerged to protect oneself from these visitors from hell.

Today, Halloween is not taken so seriously and is more fun than anything else and a good excuse to dress up in silly, ghoulish costumes and give the kids a party.

Here at PHOTOSHOOT, we welcome any opportunity to have fun with spooky, gory, vampires or goth throughout the year.. here is our Halloween gallery.  

Sloth - Seven Deadly Sins. PHOTOSHOOT Magazine

Abi from our ‘Sins… they are deadly’ shoot’.  MUA: Cleo Young

Dakota Hunt and Holly Brewer - Vampires

Dakota and Holly from our ’80’s Shoot’.  MUA: Gwen Reece

Holly Brewer - Vampire MUA: Gwen Reece

Holly from our ’80’s Shoot’.  MUA: Gwen Reece

Zombie Brides - PHOTOSHOOT Magazine editorial

Sophie from our ‘Zombie Brides Shoot’.  MUA: Shannor O’Brien & Keisha Wray

Zombie Brides - PHOTOSHOOT Editorial

Kayleigh and Sophie from our ‘Zombie Brides Shoot’.  MUA: Shannor O’Brien & Keisha Wray

Black Widow Spider  - Halloween

Tirry from our ‘Sins… they are deadly’ shoot.  MUA: Cleo Young

Black Widow Spider - PHOTOSHOOT Magazine

Tirry from our ‘Sins… they are deadly’ shoot.  MUA: Cleo Young

Wrath - Seven Deadly Sins

Tirry from our ‘Sins… they are deadly’ shoot.  MUA: Cleo Young

Gothic Wedding

Abi from our ‘Gothic Wedding’ shoot. MUA: Mandy Elizabeth

Avant Garde Wedding

Sophie from our ‘Avant Garde Wedding’ shoot.  MUA:  Mandy Elizabeth

Nic Button - Gothic Wedding

Nic from our ‘Gothic Wedding’ shoot. MUA: Mandy Elizabeth

Jane Kelly
Author: Jane Kelly

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