Emma Richardson: Join the Exmouth ‘Boo without the Bugs’

Pumpkins carved for Exmouth Boo without the Bugs

Pumpkins carved for Exmouth Boo without the Bugs - Credit: Archant

In her latest column, Emma Richardson urges people to take part in the Exmouth ‘Boo without the Bugs’

Ah autumn, here again with your crisp mornings, ominous skies and glorious riot of colourful leaves.

After what has seemed like ‘The Endless Summer of 2020’, the weather has definitely turned this last couple of weeks.

While I don’t relish the darker evenings, there’s definitely something to be said for the cosiness of the weeks ahead.

Autumn is also usually the season for community events that light up those dark nights - carnival, Hallowe’en, bonfire night, but obviously none of these will happen in the way we are accustomed to this year.

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The practice of celebrating Hallowe’en (a contraction of All Hallows Eve) is deeply rooted in our history, with some believing it has its origins in the Pagan festival Samhain.

Trick or treating, the practice of going house to house asking for food, is also a much older tradition than one would think. There are records of this happening as far back as the 16th century, so despite the fairly recent Americanisation of today’s Hallowe’en festivities, we have all been doing this for centuries.

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I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with the trick-or-treat tradition, never entirely sure about the wisdom of sending sugar-high toddlers from door to door.

However, I do love any opportunity for a bit of fancy dress and the fine art of carving pumpkins so I was excited to learn of a way to still take part this year.

After seeing suggestions online, a small group of community-minded Exmouth residents are coordinating a Covid-safe event for families.

We are all being encouraged to decorate a window or a garden with a spooky theme for the whole of the half-term week from October 24 to 31.

Families can then take their little ones for a walk around their neighbourhood to spot the displays.

Instead of knocking doors for rewards, the walk can either be done just for enjoyment’s sake, or parents can choose to provide the treats.

It seems to me this is an ideal way of celebrating the age-old tradition without endangering each other.

To take part, all you need to do is decorate a window. Facebook group ‘Exmouth Boo without the Bugs 2020’ will be bringing all the information together – make sure you let them know you’re taking part - and a map is being drawn up to show which roads have houses decorated.

So get crafting, people of Exmouth, it’s the perfect socially distanced way to engage with your local community and help keep us all connected to each other.

I knew there was a reason I hadn’t dusted those cobwebs...

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