These beliefs changed with the introduction of Christianity, but some customs remained. Dressing up, going door-to-door asking for gifts of food - known in Scotland and Ireland as guising (from disguising) - has been taking place on All Hallows Eve for centuries. The following verse is from a poem called Halloween published in 1786 by the famous Scottish poet, Robbie Burns.
Some merry, friendly, country-folks,
Together did convene,
To burn their nuts, and pile their shocks of wheat,
And have their Halloween
Full of fun that night.
Later, the Irish and Scottish immigration to the States resulted in the festival as we currently observe it. Today, children dress up in fancy costumes and go door-to-door trick or treating, we carve lanterns from pumpkins, not turnips, and great feasting still takes place as youngsters consume massive amounts of candy.
An interesting fact to note as I finish this mini history is that Edinburgh’s Royal Mile sees the Samhuinn Fire Festival celebrated on Halloween with drumming, acrobatics, fire-dancing, and a torchlit procession that I’m sure would have impressed those ancient Celts.
I'm fascinated by history and mythology, which brings me to my novella, Hekate’s Chalice, where ordinary (or not so ordinary) characters mix with creatures found in folklore in a way my Celtic ancestors would have thought quite normal.
A stolen artifact. An imminent deadline. A tenacious investigator.
JB runs a private detective agency, but if business doesn’t pick up soon, he’ll have to close the doors for good. When someone steals Hekate’s chalice, JB and his maverick team jump at the chance to track down the supernatural object. They’re resourceful and determined, but can they outsmart wizards, witches, and daemons before the client’s deadline expires?
Hekate’s Chalice is published with Amazon’s KDP Select program and predictably, considering the content, I chose to make it free for the five days leading up to and including Halloween.
Please go to the following links and download the book for free from today, Thursday 27th until Monday 31st October.
The novella is a fun short read, great for the holiday weekend, and can be chosen as your free book of the month if you are with Amazon Prime.
If you would like to receive a free copy of Healer's Magic, Book One in the epic paranormal trilogy, Kala, click on the sign-up tab at the top of the page. Thank you!
To all story lovers out there, good reading, and to those of you who write, good writing.
Best wishes and Happy Halloween,