Caulcannon

Kingwell By Kingwell, 30th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1na0xjol/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Culture

Halloween or All Hollow’s Eve and some of its traditions.

Traditions From Around The World.

In Ireland, a large pot of caulcannon stew was made on Halloween using the fruits of the harvest such as mashed potatoes, parsnips, and onions. Also included in the stew were small objects used to foretell the future. A coin in one’s dish of stew foretold wealth, a ring meant marriage, a doll showed future children, and a thimble meant that one would never marry. No girl wanted to be an old maid so always hoped to avoid the thimble. The tradition was brought to North America with the large Irish migration of the early 1800’s. In England, cakes were baked for All Soul’s eve. A guest would be given a soul cake, and then be expected to pray for the dead in return. Also in Britain, fires were lit on hilltops on Halloween and were thought to light the way home for friendly ghosts and spirits and scare away evil ones. In Ireland, the burial mounds or sidh mounds were opened up and lit with torches so that the dead could find their way back. Even after after Christianity had replaced Samhain with All Hallows Eve, families would still stoke up their fires and set extra places and food at their tables so that their dead relatives could visit on that night. In Brittany, a man would walk through the town before midnight on the eve of All Saint’s Day to warn everyone of ghosts to come. In Italy, on All Souls’ Day, people visit the tombs of dead relatives, write their names on the gravestones and leave calling cards. Some also dress skeletons of dead relatives to receive visitors, or touch rows of ancestor’s skulls. In Mexico, the Days of the Dead are at Halloween time. Toys and jewelry are made in skeleton shapes, and people eat the “Bread of the Dead”. They visit cemeteries and have feasts on the graves of their dead relatives.

The Original Trick or Treaters.

In recent times, the emphasis on spirits of the dead roaming on Halloween has expanded to include other spirits such as little people, fairies, ghoulies and goblins. Costumes were originally worn on Halloween to scare away the evil spirits and were used by adults as well as children. In fact, the original trick or treaters were adults asking for an alcoholic drink as a treat, rather than candy. Irish folks in costume would go begging at farms, threatening the owners with the damage that Muck Olla, a Druid god, would do if the farmer refused to give them some food. French children would beg for flowers to place on graves on All Saints’ Day.

Caulcannon Stew

A recipe for Caulcannon stew:
Prepare potatoes, onions, parsnip, carrot, turnip, and cabbage and boil in the usual way. Mash all the cooked vegetables (except the cabbage and onions) through a ricer while they are still hot. Cut the cabbage and
onions into very small pieces. Now mix everthing together in a saucepan and add one tablespoon of butter for every cup of mixture. Heat until very hot, stirring often to prevent sticking. Press the mixture into a well-buttered mould and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

Tags

Alcohol, All Hallows Eve, Britain, Caulcannon Stew, Cemeteries, Costumes, Ghosts, Graves, Ireland, Kingwell, Skeletons

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author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

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Comments

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
5th Nov 2014 (#)

Nice post and very well coming from the Mother Country Ireland!

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author avatar Kingwell
5th Nov 2014 (#)

Thank you Fern. You are a loyal follower. Many people came to Newfoundland from Ireland and brought their traditions with them.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
5th Nov 2014 (#)

Very interesting to read about the origin and history of Halloween and how they were celebrated in many countries - siva

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author avatar Kingwell
5th Nov 2014 (#)

Yes Siva it is interesting to learn such things. Thanks for your comment. Blessings.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
11th Nov 2014 (#)

Thanks Kingwell for sharing this article. I loved the stew. I never made anything like this before. Thanks for sharing the traditions around the world. I had no idea. Some of these came as quite a surprise to me. Smiles to you today and always.

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author avatar Kingwell
11th Nov 2014 (#)

Thank you Nancy. Blessings.

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