Halloween in Dark Ages Britain

For today’s Feature Friday, writer L.A. Smith brings us back to the British Isles in the 7th century to look at the various Hallowe’en type festivals. This is a great read!

the traveller's path

Next weekend is Halloween, so probably this post fits a little better there, but it’s also the end of the month which is when I have my regularly scheduled Year of Reading Lewis series. So, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon early and give you a little peek into how the people in 7th century Britain (Northumbria, to be exact) celebrated Halloween.*

For starters, they didn’t. The term “Halloween” came along much later. But they did have a significant celebration at the end of October. And by “they”, I have to separate out the various people-groups who were living in Northumbria at the time: the Celts, the Anglo-Saxon pagans, and the Christians.

  1. The Celts – we’ll start with these, as their festival is the one most often linked to our Halloween. It is called various names by the Celts – by the Irish, Oiche Shamna (summer’s end), the Welsh,

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About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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4 Responses to Halloween in Dark Ages Britain

  1. L.A. Smith says:

    Gosh, thanks so much for the reblog! Really appreciate your interest.


  2. Pingback: John Donne’s “The Flea” on Hallowe’en | A Pilgrim in Narnia

  3. Pingback: A Thing of Forms Unknown: Thoughts on C.S. Lewis and Horror with Chris Calderon (Happy Hallowe’en!) | A Pilgrim in Narnia

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