Many of our Halloween activities stem from old traditions – for example, while pumpkin carving began in America, it actually has Celtic roots.
During Samhain, turnips would be used to make lanterns, and when the Irish arrived in America, they had to make do with pumpkins instead as there were no turnips to be found. Switching pumpkins for turnips has since made its way back to the UK.
Additionally, “trick or treating” is an American term for a tradition that we already had in the UK.
In the middle ages, “souling” was the British practice of going door to door and offering prayers for the dead in return for food.
Similarly, since the 19th century, Scottish children have been going “guising”, which sees them dress as evil spirits in order to ward them off.
The tradition of bobbing for apples can be traced back to the Roman holiday Pomona, which had an apple as its symbol.