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Holy harum scarum!
/ Categories: October

Holy harum scarum!

First, some history.

Halloween didn’t arrive here from the United States as a fully-fledged fright-fest, complete with carved pumpkins, candy and costumes. In fact, the feast-day is far more likely to have been taken to America from the British Isles as its roots are in the Celtic tribes of Ireland, Scotland and Wales and their festival of Samhain, which marked the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. 

It was a time when tribes people believed the boundary between the world and the spirit world thinned, when the souls of the dead were allowed back to visit their loved ones and were welcomed with a warm fire and a place at the table. Naturally, rituals and games arose from these gatherings, including apple bobbing, scrying and mirror gazing – all attempts, in one way or another, of trying to tell the future.

As the centuries passed, Christianity got involved with their festivals of All Hallows’ Day and All Souls Day, which, following a Papal decree in 835, fell on the 1 and 2 November, respectively. Traditions, rituals and timings all began to merge…

In England in the 1400s ‘souling’ was common between 31 October and 2 November, where children and the parish poor would go from house to house asking for a ‘soul’ cake in exchange for prayers for the household. Costumes were worn as part of the All Hallows festival and, by the 1700s, pranks had been added to the merrymaking, Jack O Lanterns (actually carved turnips) by the 1900s.

Then it went quiet, here in the UK. 

Historians put this down to the huge popularity of Guy Fawkes Night on 5 November, with its traditional toffee apples and huge bonfires. Fortunately for our story, Scottish and Irish immigrants in America had taken their home customs with them and Halloween, with its curious mix of fun and fear, shock and awe, evolved into the more modern format that’s been re-imported – and some – to Europe. 

These days, from early September onwards it’s hard to move through your weekly shop without bumping into barrow-loads of pumpkins, ghostly lanterns, pointy witches’ hats or get caught in fake spider’s web – like some grotesque parody of Lord of the Rings… But it’s all meant in good spirit and teaches our kids the art of good customer service (dressing up to earn a treat) and, erm, putting the frighteners on someone (bolt the door – more security needed)! Isn’t it?

Frighteningly good service…

There’s nothing spooky about the dozen nationwide shredding centres at Restore Datashred, though. 

We’re one of the leading UK suppliers of on- and off-site secure shredding services for your confidential information, on paper and in digital format. 

There’s nothing we like better than pleasing our customers with service excellence, high-level security operatives and depots, and knowledgeable, friendly teams. 

(We probably don’t need to be in fancy dress or watch horror movies to achieve these standards, either!)

With us, there’s no trick, just treat – just a professional shredding service. 

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