Readers recall the origins and simpler pleasures of Halloween celebrations, before the Americanisation of the festival
Tim Dowling’s entertaining and informative article (‘It’s become a real monster!’: How Britain fell for Halloween, 27 October) missed one aspect of Halloween: the suspension of ordinary laws, which occurs in the spring and autumn festivals, as measured by the calendar ending one half-year and beginning the next.
This is why we still have budgetary accounting in April (allowing for the Gregorian-Julian calendars transference) to mark the date when debts had to be paid, just before normal law ran out. Walpurgis night is balanced by Samhain at the other end. Because normal laws are suspended, ancestral ghosts are able to bridge the divide.