Posted Oct. 28, 2016
Halloween is celebrated in the UK, USA, and many other countries around the world. Considered by some to originate from pagan Celtic harvest festivals in Ireland and Wales, Halloween was taken up by those of the Christian faith as a precursor to All Hallows’ Day, on the 1st November, and became Halloween.
Although in Ireland, the turnip was hollowed out to produce Jack-O’-Lanterns, as the festival was continued by the thousands of UK and Irish emigrants to the US, the vegetable (fruit) of choice became the pumpkin. Grown all over the States, larger, and easier to carve, it is now accepted internationally to produce the lanterns. The pumpkin’s flesh is saved, and used to make pumpkin pie for the evening’s celebrations.
Most of us are well past the trick-or-treating stage – unless we are mature students with children of our own to walk around the streets with – but Halloween is still a time of social activity. For LLM students, parties, barbeques, fancy dress, and apple bobbing are enjoyed by all ages, and can be great events to meet up with other students studying for their LLM degree. Stories can be swapped, ideas exchanged, and new friends made.
Others may prefer to share a night in a haunted house, castle, or graveyard. The UK is especially blessed with properties hundreds of years old, many with a history of murder and mayhem within the walls. Organised walking tours and overnight stays are available. Check your university’s social calendar. There may be organised Halloween activities available at little or no cost. If you’re at university in or around Kent and want to sample Halloween to the full, how about visiting the UK’s most haunted village? Pluckley, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, has a total of twelve ghosts in residence, including a highwayman. Check out the organised trips and short breaks, and make the whole thing a different couple of days away from it all.
In the large cities in the UK, dance and music venues will be advertising Halloween night’s dances and entertainment. With bar-staff and bands performing in fancy dress, and the venues having balloons, hob goblins, skeletons, and witches on broomsticks hanging from the ceilings, you will look totally out of place if you haven’t bothered to dress up as your favourite evil character.
While the US may do it bigger, with houses decorated and pumpkin lanterns burning in every window and on every driveway. A Halloween night out at a UK university organised function, or a commercial venue in town or city, could be the break you need to unwind and recharge the batteries, ready to face the upcoming rigours of your next round of LLM student studies.
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