Welcome to the Barrel of Laughs Halloween Special. A wickedly wonderful post for all those Halloween enthusiasts and Samhain celebrators.
Did you just asked yourself “What is Samhain?”
First of all – Do you really love Halloween? If the answer is yes and you still don’t know what Samhain is, then here, let us tell you. (And if the answer was no then read on anyway- who knows maybe you will learn to love it!)
Is an ancient Celtic festival that marks the end of the summer and the harvest season and the beginning of the darker months of the year (winter.) It is between the autumn solstice and the winter equinox.
Special bonfires would be lit that were said to hold special protective powers and they would often were guises of animal skins and heads. Samhain was known as the time where the boundaries between our world and the other-worlds was at its thinnest, making it easier for sprites, fairies and the spirits of the dead to cross over. Think of it as a door opening from their side to ours. These spirits were beckoned into homes to feast with the families and places were set for them at the table.
They believed that the spirits helped them see visions of the future. These prophecies were relied upon for the coming winter months. Let’s hope they had positive prophecies that brought them comfort for the dark nights ahead.
Now you know a little more about the origins of All Hallows Eve, lets talk about how we’re going to celebrate this year…
Halloween has become a popular festival everywhere we turn this year. From school discos, to pubs and clubs. Supermarkets dedicate aisles and aisles to costumes, decorations and sweets, even the frozen food section has an ice cool, Halloween theme to it. Whilst we are Halloween enthusiasts at Barrel of Laughs HQ, we do start to question some of these marketing tactics. I mean, how are frozen, miniature toad in the holes have anything to do with Halloween, we do not know. But hey, whatever works right?!
Whilst the whole world seems to have gone Halloween crazy, you may decide to stay in and throw your own Halloween/Samhain themed party this year. If so we have some top tips to make your party stand out from all the rest.
You can’t have a Halloween party without fancy dress. Even way back in ancient Celtic times they used costumes to celebrate Samhain. Let’s not break the tradition now.
However, make this a rule with no exceptions. No costume = No entry. Whilst dressing up isn’t everyones cup of tea, we can guarantee that it everyone has more fun when they get involved. You can set a forfeit in case someone decides not to pay attention to the rules. This could be a spare costume that you get to decide (make sure its super embarrassing) or something equally wicked, like a spooky, cream pie in the face!’
Decorations are a must.
These don’t have to be expensive or excessive but you need to turn your house into its Halloween equivalent for this event. With the world Halloween obsessed its pretty easy to pick up cheap decorations. Most supermarkets and £1 stores stock them and if you can’t find it online then its probably not worth having.
Spooky cobwebs, tatty black material, ‘caution’ tape, these are all great and cheap, cheerful decs that will make your house stand out.
If you’re feeling creative don’t forget to carve some pumpkins! (Scrape out as much of the innards as you can and make pumpkin soup…mmm our favourite!)
Games, because who doesn’t love a good game?
Apple bobbing, pumpkin bowling, pin the spider on the web, to name just a few Halloween theme games.
If you aren’t feeling particularly creative about making up your own Halloween games, don’t worry! Just take your favourite party games and give them a Halloween twist.
Eye ball beer-pong (so simple right? But it gives it a Halloween twist.) Halloween themed Karaoke, or Halloween Kings cup. This one is great for any themed event because you can tweak the rules to suit the party. For this Halloween version you could use a pumpkin in the middle and use rules like; 9 = Halloween rhyme time, 7 = Hell (everyone touches the floor) 3 = Act like a zombie.
Halloween pumpkin cocktail special (18+)-
2 Tbsp – Pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp – Lemon Juice
50 ml – Spiced Rum
1 teaspoon – Honey
1/8 teaspoon – Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon – Ginger (ground or fresh)
Top with Ginger beer and garnish (optional) with sage and a cinnamon stick.
Now you are all set for your very own Halloween themed party and a terrifyingly terrific night!
However and wherever you celebrate Halloween this year, we hope it’s a great one. We might be sick of pumpkin soup and pumpkin spiced everything by the end of it (although we very much doubt it) but we will enjoy it whilst its here.
We hope you have a very happy Halloween and a blessed Samhain, as the wheel turns and the veil thins for another year.
Barrel of Laughs HQ. X
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