Happy Halloween!!

 

It’s such a shame that times have changed so very much!  I used to love candying apples or dipping them in melted caramel with my mother, and I used to go to this one lady’s house each year because she made the best rice crispy treats in the neighborhood.  But then some psychos started poisoning kids’ treats or putting razor blades in them, so we all stopped accepting (or eating) home made goodies and could only eat things that had been factory wrapped and sealed. 

At least the family can still take part in pumpkin carving together!  Oh, and hayrides and haunted houses–woohoo!  And it’s always fun to see all the trick or treaters in their costumes (though I was a bit startled last year to open the door to several kids in their late teens who were dressed as pimps and ho’s–isn’t there a cut off age for trick or treating?  If not, maybe I will go myself!).

Autumn has always been my favorite time of year; even when I lived in Florida and didn’t get the full effects of the season (no beautiful fall foliage for example), and I’ve always loved Halloween.  So I thought that in wishing you all a very Happy Halloween, I’d include a brief history of the holiday’s origins . . .

Ancient Origins

–from the History Channel website

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

Door

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. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’, were called Hallowmas.

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10 thoughts on “Happy Halloween!!

  1. Hei Fuzz.

    I do so not like the whole ting about Halloween; even though, I lived in Ireland over twenty years and all! Take care. Keep well. =)

  2. For me, the history of halloween dates back about 46 years. it started in a town called Santa Cruz, Our mom put a sheet over our heads and cut two holes in it for eyes, gave us a pillowcase and told us to go trick or treating. What they did before i came along, well, who really knows. I know, people write this history stuff down, but I think they have been trick or treating since someone made too much candy and had to get rid of the excess. This is obviously my version of history.

  3. Hugs to you Fuzzy! Halloween is a most favorite holliday for me for obvious reason…if you read my story. It is the first time for me meeting Gregor! Besides I like an excuse to dress up cause all I have to wear any other time is this old patched dress that is sewn on..grump! Mammy needs to get me another one before I go see Gregor in Scotland!

  4. Ooopsie! I did a boo boo Fuzzy. I was sneaking around in Mammy’s blog under her identity…(I found her password) Cause I was looking to see if she had any email from Gregor. I have not heard from him and I thought Mammy might be hiding something from me. So the above comment is from little old ME! Shhhhhhh…maybe she won’t find out…cause she has been too busy to look at the blogs. Tick a lock!

  5. I’m completely weirded out; where is Mavis? Who is Annie? A Mavis alterego? Who is Gregor? Yikes! I obviously have some serious catching up to do; where can I get the cliff notes version on the three faces of Mavis?? lmao

  6. OMG…Lisa you are too funny..” For me, the history of halloween dates back about 46 years.” LMAO!!! I do believe your version of Halloween history and mine are very alike! If not identical

  7. Wellllll, first you have to realize that Mavis is Mammy and Annie is Mammy’s doll that she let get a blog of her own and
    Gregor is my loverly lovely who I met on the internet and was sending me secret messages for months before I found out who he was and, and…uh…well you got to read the stories on my page silly!

  8. I myself have never been trick or treating. My mother did not like or believe in the holiday. I now love taking my son he loves to dress up.
    I Have not seen a candie apple forever or popcorn balls. It is too bad that some idiots ruined the old fashion fun of Halloween.

  9. Lisa and Amber; you guys are hilarious.

    Okay, Annie dear, I’ll pop over and try to get up to speed. Ditto to you, Mavis.

    I totally agree with you, Bert! I still remember those times with my mom in the kitchen and since I was never allowed to eat the stuff we made, I always looked forward to trick or treating and getting a candy (or caramel) apple or popcorn ball or rice crispy treat. Sigh. Those were the days.

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