Does Lori Anderson (Perspective, 22 November) seriously think the custom of celebrating Halloween is an American importation?
In my childhood (that is, in the late 1940s and 1950s), Halloween was one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year. Guy Fawkes Night, if we were aware of it at all, was seen as something they did in England. We had our fireworks on Halloween, along with the guising, dooking for apples, treacle scones and the like.
The gradual adoption of the practice of postponing the fireworks till a few days later was seen at the time as an English takeover, regretted by many.
Admittedly, some American practices have recently infiltrated our Scottish Halloween, such as referring to guising as “trick-or-treating” and the use of pumpkins instead of neeps for lanterns; but Lori Anderson’s knowledge of social history is sadly defective if she imagines that the whole Halloween festival has come here from America.