8 Halloween Traditions you must know if you are a true Scot

8 Scottish Halloween Traditions

Scotland is a country of keeping with tradition and Halloween is no exception to this rule. Though Pagan rituals have been adapted or forgotten over the years the main themes of Halloween have remained. How many of these Halloween traditions are you familiar with?

Scottish Oats with creamy gifts eaten at Halloween

Fuarag or Stapag was a Halloween dish from Scotland. It is made by gradually adding oatmeal to whisked cream until thick. A ring and items such as a button, thimble or silver coins went into the mix.  Everyone took a spoon and tucked in to enjoy the sensation with the object of scooping and finding the prize. Only one person at a time could take a dip and scraping the base of the pot was forbidden. In times of economic hardship, potatoes may have been substituted for the cream. Finding the button means you would never marry, The ring predicted marriage and the money a future of good fortune.

What does Guising mean?

The Close meaning of Guising is the practice of disguising oneself in fancy dress.  People often dressed up in traditional characters witches goblins, ghouls.  Wearing masks to disguise themselves and scare off evil spirits. Children especially were a priority so they would not be targets of evil spirits and blend right in.

Trick or treating evolved to reward the Guising efforts. Some entertained with mini-performances known as “Mummers” and accepted token handouts.  Poorer children would gain a few treats to help cope with the cold season and food shortage was to come during winter. In Modern times trick or treaters are rewarded by ringing the doorbell and standing there.

Pumpkins or Neep Lanterns

Hollowed out Turnips with fire inside glowed like lanterns when the sides of the Turnip where chiseled to show eyes and teeth. These lanterns hung to ward off spirits. Pumpkins through American influences seem to have taken the world by storm and are unlikely now to be unseated by Neep Lanterns soon.

Apple Dookin

There are two ways to approach apple Dookin; Apples placed in water for people to bite. [or]

Hanging scones covered in Treacle

Dangling from a string for people to take a bite from wearing a blindfold and hands tied behind their backs.

Enchanted legendary Scone

Scotland has a place called Scone in Perthshire.  The word scone in its derivatives is thought to mean cut/ cutting. Many ways to pronounce it, even though it looks like the same scone we eat.

Scone Palace would make a great Halloween backdrop a Georgian Gothic style building out of red sandstone. It is a modern-day tourist jackpot. Reports of hearing footsteps, definitely on the haunted house list. Many of the castles in Scotland are thought to be haunted or connected to witches or terrifying events. The Scottish charm of enchanted forests, graveyards and old architecture captures much of the nostalgic time when people were just worshipping summers end.

Built on a 12th Century religious priory. The first King of the Scots Kenneth MacAlpin 9th Century chooses Scone as the Capital. Legends and myths surround this place. The Stone of Scone was where official kings of Scotland had to be crowned. Laws and record-making and keeping took place here.

Charles II, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Robert the Bruce, Bonnie Prince Charlie and many more all connect with Scone.

Burning Nuts

If they hissed and cracked challenging times ahead for a couple. If they burnt in silence, the union was though harmonious. Nuts also associate to the Roman festival of Pomona at this time of the year and the Goddess of fruit and nut trees. Pagans called it Nut crack night.

Kale Pulling

Burns the poet mentioned about pulling stalks from the ground after dark with their eyes closed? Another matrimony prediction game, if a lot of soil came with the roots that predicted wealth, the shape of the plant would predict the shape of the future bride or husband to be.


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