The Tudor Society
  • Halloween and Hallowtide

    Today, the 31st October, is All Hallows Eve, more commonly known as Halloween. It is the first day of Hallowtide, which also includes the Feast of All Hallows, also known as All Saints’ Day, which is celebrated on 1st November, and the Feast of All Souls, which is celebrated on 2nd November.

    In today’s talk, I explain the origins of Hallowtide and how Halloween, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day were celebrated in medieval and Tudor England.

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  • All Souls’ Day

    In medieval and Tudor times, 2 November, the day after the Feast of All Saints, was the Feast of All Souls.

    It was a time to remember the souls in Purgatory who might not have masses or prayers being said for them, the forgotten souls. Bells would be rung the night before All Souls Day to comfort the souls and to let them know that they were being remembered and then masses were said for them on All Souls Day. Bread was baked in honour of these troubled souls and it was given out to the poor in the hope that the act of giving on behalf of these souls would help them get out of Purgatory.

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