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    Pumpkins & Trick or Treating: where did Halloween come from?

    It's the spookiest date on our calendar: 31st October, when the kids dress up as skeletons and witches to go Trick or Treating, pumpkin sales go through the roof, and the TV channels are filled with re-runs of classic scary movies. But do any of us really know what Halloween is all about?

    Halloween is a lot like the Dracula myth; there are a number of different stories that when all mixed together give us the Halloween we celebrate today. After much research on the web, the most common explanation is that it derives from Celtic time and the celebration of 'summer's end'; now enter Welsh and Scottish folklore, which claim it is the time for supernatural encounters and that's where we have our modern day excuse to dress up and frighten each other half to death!

    Hire a car in the USA and you can head for the New York Village Halloween Parade! Sixth Avenue is taken over by people dressed up in crazy costumes and puppeteers, and the theme has a projection of an eyeball put into the night's sky. The parade takes from two to four hours and has been tipped as one of the best festivals in the world!Here in the UK you can head to London and jump on a scary boat trip at the Canal Museum or join in with the spooky fun at the London Dungeons. One for the kids is Lego land in Manchester, from the 15th to 31st of this month you can build your very own mini Frankenstein and take a special Halloween factory tour!

    There are a few strange traditions out there that are worth a mention! In Germany it is customary to put all knives away on Halloween night, as the living do not want to risk hurting returning spirits, and in Poland all doors and windows are left open so as to welcome the roaming night spirits.

    What will you be doing to celebrate this year's Halloween?

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