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Celebrating Samhuinn or Halloween

Time to carve the pumpkins, load up dishes with piles of sweets and festoon your house with spiders webs, bats, skeletons and other macabre stuff, yes it’s Halloween!

The modern day festival of Halloween is derived from the Celtic festival of Samhuinn or Samhain which dates back more than 2000 years. Held between the 31st of October and 1st November, the pagan festival was originally a celebration of the end of the harvest, the beginning of the ‘darker part’ of the year and also believed to be the the day when the spirits of the dead would cross to the other world.

Even ‘trick or treating’ started in the UK in the middles ages when the poor would dress in costumes and go from door to door begging for money or food in exchange for prayers. They would often be given Soul Cake, which was a small, round cake which represented a soul being freed from Purgatory. These stories and ideas were introduced to North America by the Irish and Scottish folk who settled there, they were embraced and developed into what Halloween is today.

Whether you embrace the festival fully and decorate your house from top to toe and load up with sweets and goodies for the local children or prefer to draw the curtains and pop on the telly, Crieff has everything you need to celebrate this creepy evening. The shops are full of sweets and chocolates, cakes, candles, pumpkins, decorations and Halloween themed treats. Please remember to support local businesses by shopping locally, even if you buy just one thing you’d normally buy online or in a supermarket from a local shop instead.

If you are planning on heading out to celebrate there’s lots happening in Crieff. Crieff Community Council have a free family event in James Square planned from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on the 31st which includes music, games and competitions for the best costumes. The Tower Gastro Pub has a free tots craft session on between 2 and 3pm on the 31st and a kids disco (£5 entry) between 4 and 6 pm. The Pavilion Café have a Halloween party on Saturday October 27th between 5 and 7pm and Strathearn Artspace is showing the brilliant Francis Ford Coppola Dracula based movie ‘Love Never Dies’ on Friday the 26th October.