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Friday, 22 October 2010

Faye's Fun Monday topic

Faye writes
Let's celebrate Halloween and the pleasures of dressing up by sharing costumes. Now don't hesitate to play because you're not partying this year. If you were going to dress up, who or what would you be? 

Traditionally, Hallowe'en has a different connotation over here, it's only in recent years that the US version seems to have been adopted.
In fact, local police forces campaign each year to make Hallowe'en safe.
Police use Twitter
Hallowe'en guidance from police nationwide.

No  trick or treat
Please enjoy your night
Without disturbing Ours.

As kids we knew it as 'Mischief Night' and it had nothing whatsoever to do with partying. Quite the opposite if you lived in country areas.
The area I'm from is called Pendle and in English history is associated with the "Lancashire Witches''. 
They are described in court records, and works of fiction such as "Mist over Pendle" by Robert Neill. Here you'll find a view of Pendle and info about the witches.
Follow this link to find out about the area. 

 The whole area is hilly with beautiful scenery.

 A song sung by folk group...the Houghton Weavers

Oh Pendle, oh Pendle, thou standest alone,
Twixt Burnley and Clitheroe, Whalley and Colne,
Where Hodder and Ribble's fair waters do meet,
With Barley and Downham content at thy feet.

When witches fly on a cold winter’s night,
We won't tell a soul, but we’ll bolt the door tight, 

We’ll sit by the fireside and keep ourselves warm,
Until once again we can walk on your arm. 

Oh Pendle, Oh Pendle, by moorland and fell,
In beauty and loneliness ever to dwell,
In life’s fateful journey where e’er we may be,
We’ll pause in our labours and oft think of thee.

Places mentioned in the first verse are local towns and villages. Hodder and Ribble are the two local rivers.

Why would folk 'bolt their doors tight?' Because local folklore has it that no -one would want to venture out and run the risk of becoming Hag-rid, plaything of witches and their ilk.

I was brought up on folklore tales such as
Dule upo' Dun or the 'Devil on a dark horse'.

Tales of the 
Lancashire Witches
Peg O'Nell

I could go on and on...about my neck of the woods. Perhaps you might like to follow some of the links above?


Jan n Jer said...

Thanks for sharing info about the Pendle Witches. Looks like a beautiful area! I remember as a kid, we had an old lady living in an old run down house near us. We swore she was a witch and all the kids were so frightened to go near her house, especially on Halloween.

joangee said...

Thanks for your kind and gracious comment. I was worried in case my posting upset anyone.

Anonymous said...

That was such an interesting post. Thanks for sharing! What a beautiful setting you live in.

joangee said...

Thank you, Julie, for stopping by and for your kind comment.

Sayre said...

Wow - very interesting stuff! I need to come back when I have more time and check out your links.

Plaything of witches... Hag-rid. Puts a whole new spin on that particular Harry Potter character, doesn't it???

ari_1965 said...

I know the Devil on a Dark Horse story. My ancestors didn't bring much with them, but they brought their stories.

The Church Lady said...

What interesting traditions and folklore. It is neat to see how other countries celebrate different traditions. I'm so glad you shared this information.

Faye said...

I'm currently obsessed with Gabaldon's Outlander series and she writes about your fall rituals like Belthane (?) when people disappear between the standing stones. I grew up in the country and kids ran wild much like your "Mischief Nights". We turned over privys, smashed pumpkins, and scared the livestock.

Jill said...

Hey don't worry about upsetting us Americans. Trust me, we're a very open minded group for the most part (and nothing like the tv shows that get broadcast in your part of the world).. I won't pretend to know anything about witches, but I don't think that anything is outside the scope of possibility. I know certain groups have often known deeper healing than modern medicine and it's awesome to hear stories about other groups of people and how they celebrate!

joangee said...

Jan, you are very kind, thank you for your heart-warming response.
Because I grew up in a rural area where folk lore was part of every day life, I thought I'd share some of the stories.
Unfortunately, as 'trick or treat' grew in popularity over here, there have been reports of vandalism and of rowdy behaviour and old folk being frightened.