– Happy Halloween –
You would get to enjoy both here.. 🙂
I came across a very interesting story about the Celtic Festival here– It was after reading this one that I decided to research a bit on this spooky matter! I produce it again for all of my readers-
The foundation of beliefs that started thousands of years ago (maybe even before) with the Celts (whose New Year started on November 1). They had festivals that celebrated the end of summer and the beginning of the cold, long winter days. They believed that on the eve of their new year, October 31, the land of the living and dead became blurred and that ghosts of the dead returned to earth. There were celebrations with people dressing in animal heads and costumes hoping to scare away the ghosts.
Hundreds of years later, Christianity was taking over the Celtic beliefs and the church started a celebration; which came to be called All Hallow’s Eve that eventually became known as Halloween.
As time evolved, it became a time of celebration with Autumn Festivals and it was not until the mid-nineteenth century, that the Parties became popular and children started going from house to house asking for food or candy which eventually became known as today’s “trick or treat”..
It was the baby boom of the 1950s in America- that really started the Halloween tradition, that we know today. With just about every child old enough, donning a costume and celebrating Halloween through Parties and trick or treating.
This is a very edited historical accounting of how it came about. But it goes way back in history beginning in Europe.
Some people like to make the costumes for their children and paint their faces with all kinds of makeup to make them look like a ghoul or a witch, etc. Many children like to dress up as nice characters too, like princesses or fairies or characters out of their favorite movies or books. They look so cute!
But now most people buy costumes at the store. The stores are packed with costumes now and they are selling tons of candy. You wouldn’t believe how much candy is sold.
Wow Gayle- So nice to have found this piece. Thank you.
This is what I found here
It began over 2000 yrs ago with people known as the Celtics. They lived in what is today England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This was also the beginning of the Celtic new year, a time to give thanks to the sun god for the harvest.
- All Saints Day
- All Hallows Eve
- All Souls Day
Is a festival. It was held to honor the Samhain the so called “lord of death”. It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Samhain, lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals. It was a pagan belief that on one night of the year the souls of the dead return to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells and cause havoc toward those failing to fulfill their requests. Sacrifices were offered on this night to the dead spirits because it was thought they visited their earthly dwellings and former friends.
There was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of the good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise; but the souls of the wicked men were left to wonder in the space between the earth and the moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living.. But there were means by which ghosts might be exorcised. To exorcise these ghosts, that is to free yourself from their evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you.
Of Pumpkins and Joack-o-lanterns
In America it’s a pumpkin, but in Europe it was often a turnip, large beet, potato, rutabaga or even a skull with a candle in it. The fearsome face of the jack-o-lantern was representative of the god of the dead, Shamin, who would drive off less powerful evil spirits abroad that night. As glimmering lights flickered over an English marsh or an Irish bog, people imagined dead souls had returned to earth. They would place the jack-o-lantern on posts and in windows to ward off the spirits of the dead on Halloween.
The word jack-o-Lantern is an abbreviation of “Jack of the Lantern.” Jack is another name for joker or Satan. In the Irish tale, a man named Jack was fond of playing tricks on the devil. Annoyed, the devil tossed Jack a burning coal from hell. With the coal in his “lantern” Jack was condemned to walk the earth forever searching for rest. The jack-o-lantern is a Halloween idol that keeps alive an ancient symbol of demonic superstition.
Of Witches and their Pets
A pagan practice that was not eradicated upon the coming of Christianity was witchcraft. The word “witch” comes from the Anglo-Saxon Wicca, or “wise one.” Witches were thought to be possessors of magic. Witches, who worship the deities of nature, have living talismans or symbols through which they derive their dark powers. They invoke evil spirits to enter the bodies of their talismans. Some have dogs, owls, snakes or swine for their talismans, but the most common are cats.
The broomstick is a symbol of the male organ (really..?), on which the “Witch” mounts and leaps high around the fields to “teach” the crops how high to grow (!!!!!) The notion of flying Witches relates to the fact that Witches believed they could fly great distances to their feasts, by smearing their bodies with ointments containing drugs. The drugs gave them psychedelic “trips” making them think they flew. (We really could have done without knowing this one- isn’t it? The illusion seemed much better. What is with the broom again? Well..)
Cats have been closely associated with mystery religion from the Egyptians to the Norse. But the Celts had a particular fear of cats, believing they were humans who had been changed into feline form by evil powers. The black cat particularly was connected to demonic powers. Black cats are the chief idol of the goddess of Wicca, Diana. In legend, she turns into a black cat to commit incest with her brother, Lucifer. Eventually the Druids themselves came to be regarded as witches. Witch hunting during Halloween became almost a national pastime in the colonial years of our nation. But that was yesterday. Halloween is regarded as the high “Sabbath” for practicing witches today.
This is what I found here
Halloween (or Hallowe’en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day, but is today largely a secular celebration. Common Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attendingcostume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, ghost tours, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, committing pranks, telling ghost stories or other frightening tales, and watching horror films.
Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folk- lorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in“. The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly “summer’s end”. A similar festival was held by the ancient Britons and is known as Calan Gaeaf (pronounced Kálan Gái av).
Another common practice was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink.
The name ‘Halloween’ and many of its present-day traditions derive from the Old English era. The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even (“evening”), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Up through the early 20th century, the spelling “Hallowe’en” was frequently used, eliding the “v” and shortening the word. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556.
I guess, it was much better in olden times. Celebrating Harvest and spooking people in name of ghosts.. 😀 Unlike today’s famine stricken countries- despite their economic development and idolizing terrorism.. 😦
This is precisely why I maybe loving the winter season- shhhh..!
DON’T YOU DARE MISS THE HALLOWEEN PARTY- Calling all Ghouls to Party