Hallowe’en traditions in Scotland reach back to the country’s Celtic origins, celebrated by the Druids as “Samhain” meaning the end of summer. Ritual fires ensured that the sun would return the following spring. Samhain was traditionally celebrated on October 31st.

The “neepi lantern” is a Scottish tradition from the time of the Clearances. Scots celebrate Halloween by carving out large turnips and cutting a gruesome face in them and placing a candle inside. Pumpkins, a New World vegetable, are now being used more frequently, prompting a BBC radio news story that the “Neepi Lantern is Under Threat.”

turnip-o-lanternsScots also favor putting out the scary Tattie Bogle, or scarecrow.

55 tatty-bogles+

These humanoid frights can take on many different forms and are found all over the countryside. The fun blog Occasional Scotland has a great page of different Tattie Bogles. I especially like the Dr. Who Dalek tattie bogle.

And here is an except from the most famous of All Hallows Eve poems by Robert Burns, “Halloween”

Amang the bonie winding banks,
Where Doon rins, wimplin, clear;
Where Bruce ance rul’d the martial ranks,
An’ shook his Carrick spear;
Some merry, friendly, countra-folks
Together did convene,
To burn their nits, an’ pou their stocks,
An’ haud their Halloween
Fu’ blythe that night.

Have a Happy Hallowe’en!~~~Elizabeth