Paris Pumpkin Penalty! Footballers get into Halloween spirit

Paris Pumpkin Penalty! Footballers get into Halloween spirit
By Mark Armstrong
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Stars at French football giants Paris Saint Germain got the fright of their lives as the club got into the Halloween spirit.


Stars at French football giants Paris Saint Germain got the fright of their lives as the club got into the Halloween spirit.

In a film published on PSG’s social media channels, Thiago Silva, Lass Diarra and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting are seen putting their hands into pumpkins and getting a scary surprise.

While the footballers appeared worried in the video, they will have less concern over their league position.

They are currently eight points clear of their nearest rivals having won all 11 of their opening fixtures in France’s Ligue 1.

What's the deal with Halloween?

As many people recover from the world's favourite fright night, Euronews takes a look at the genesis of Halloween, and the special ways Europeans celebrate.

There are many ideas put forward as to how and when Halloween came about but according to the well-respected, the spooky festival's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death.

Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.

On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

The idea of the "living dead" has persisted throughout the centuries but Halloween has given rise to many more traditions over the years.

We all know about pumpkins, witches and trick-or-treat but there are more, some of them a bit creepy and some just downright weird.

A tribute to British outcasts

In London this year Euronews reported from a remembrance service for the city's outcasts that took place at the site of a medieval pit said to contain the remains of up to 15,000 bodies, many said to those of sex workers.

The vigil was part of the UK capital's Month of the Dead celebrations, and death is the theme that most Halloween traditions have in common.

Hiding of the knives in Germany

In Germany people hide knives in their homes to ensure ghosts do not hurt themselves.

And last night, the Berlin police entered into the 'spirit' by posting a special warning.

Night of the Pumpkins in northern Spain

On October 31 Spaniards in the northeastern Galicia region make use of pumpkins as do so many people around the world.

But the Galicians use the vegetable for a particular custom; they make an alcoholic drink called quemada and drink it from the pumpkins while reciting a spell called esconxuro that it is believed offers protection against evil.


Fave dei Morti in Italy

Food figures in many Halloween traditions including the Fave dei Morti in Italy, or beans of the dead.

The beans are eaten on the Italian Day of the Dead in the ancient belief that the souls of the deceased reside in fava beans, thus making a link between the living and the dead.

La Castañada in Catalonia

In the Catalan region of Spain, Halloween is all about the roast chestnuts, the castañadas.

They are cooked with sweet potatoes, and small almond cakes called panellets, all accompanied by Moscatel, a sweet white wine. It is thought the tradition comes from bellringers who stayed up all night ringing bells to commemorate the dead while friends and family brought them food to keep them going.

Feed the spirits

In Austria, rather than eating the food themselves, the living opt to nourish the dead. Austrians leave a light on all week and put out bread and water for the spirits of those who have passed over to the other side.


Undead update

In the Czech Republic, as well as taking flowers to the graves of their loved ones, people also gather around the fire so they can talk with the departed.

Many of the customs may seem a little strange but ultimately it's a lot of food, a lot of ghosts, and a deeply held belief that there is something there on the other side.

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