The Celts


During the Iron Age the Celts settled in the country between about 500 and 100 BC. They are tribes of warriors composed by numerous clan with its own social structure and customs.
However the women were equal to men. In fact they choose the man they wanted to marry and retained their own property. There were also warrior women like Bodicea who was queen.
Then they relied on the oral transmission of culture, especially through bards. Now we know that they worshiped the natural elements and their religious rites were in the woods and near the sacred water of wells and springs.
They introduced the iron working in Britain with amazing effects. It affected trade and helped develop local independence because iron was quite cheap and easily available. Furthermore, they practiced agriculture using iron plough, which made the cultivation of the soil easier.
But we don't know if the hill forts were built by the Celts as they moved into hostile territory or by the native Britons to defend themselves. Hill forts consisted of a small ditch and bank surrounding a hilltop. However we know that they lived in huts made of timber with thatched roofs.

The origins of Halloween


The Celts believed that the witches and the ghosts returned that night and that evil spirits entered the body of person or animal. For this reason they used to wear frightening costumes and make fires to send the spirits away. Later, the Roman Catholic Church decided to call November 1st "All Hollows Day" and the evening of October 31st became "All Hollows Eve"
Nowadays is used to wear costumes for take a part a party or "trick or treating". This custom originated in the 9th century in Ireland, where on November 2nd - All Souls Day - Christians used to walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes", made of bread with currants. More soul cake so more prayers for dead relatives. Furthermore the custom of buying a pumpkin and making a lantern comes from Irish folklore and it served to send away the evil spirits.
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