Like a lot of people, I was aware of the Celtic origins of Halloween, and the mythology behind it. I was also aware that what we have now was a “chistianised” response—sort of. But until today, I wasn’t aware of the more recent ethnic Halloween traditions that were brought to the USA, and then exported back.
The video above is the latest from BBC America’s Anglophenia series, and in it Kate Arnell explains the Scottish roots of the modern observance of the day, though many have changed considerably since then (carved turnips, anyone?). I found it fascinating.
Even so, Halloween is still kind of an also-ran in New Zealand.
In another vaguely Halloween-related item, I also saw this today: “Vincent Price’s Daughter Confirms He Was Bisexual—And A Pretty Awesome Dad”. It’s pretty interesting, and it reminded me that when I was at university, I saw Price in a one-man play “Diversions and Delights”, by John Gay. It was about Oscar Wilde giving a lecture to a Paris audience in 1899. Vincent was really good. He reportedly said of the role:
“I believe my role as Oscar Wilde was my greatest achievement as an actor. It was really extraordinary. It was the only time ever in my whole life when I really, completely fell into the character. I was really able to escape into the wit and brilliance of the man. A divine feeling.”It was certainly a divine evening.