Halloween: five popular traditions and customs from ancient times - from gifts for the dead to carving turnips

Halloween is celebrated across the world on 31 October and its customs go back centuries - some are still celebrated today and some aren’t

Today, Halloween is a fun holiday that people celebrate with their friends and family and, if you can hold your nerve, it’s a chance to scare yourself silly. But, if not it’s still a time to enjoy some delicious foodie treats, dress up and decorate your home.

We have many traditions associated with spooky season, including carving pumpkins, going trick or treating in our local community, and eating lots of sweet goodies like toffee apples, pumpkin pie and chocolate. But, these weren’t always the customs that people carried out.

A lot of ancient customs were started by Celts in Scotland and Ireland, and came from a time when Halloween was more about riding towns and homes of evil creatures and making sure the dead didn’t harm the living.

So, here are five Celtic traditions from ancient times. Some have been adapted for the modern day activities we know, and some haven’t quite lasted the test of time.

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