Happy Halloween!

  1. Happy Halloween, Everyone!
    Since most of us know what Halloween is, I will provide a brief history of the celebration, which is much older than Christianity.
    Halloween is a variant spelling of Hallowe’en and that is a contraction of All Hallow’s Eve (Hallow’s Eve in Ireland).
    Halloween started out as Samhuinn (S’aun) which is a pagan harvest festival. It is also considered a time when spirits are more easily able to interact with the living. Much dancing and feasting. Oh, and praying to various gods and spirits, thanking them for a bountiful harvest and ask the favor of surviving the winter.
    The ghosts, goblins and pumpkin carving (turnip carving before immigration to the Americas) along with dunking for apples, eating candy and sweets is a Celtic tradition and comes from Ireland and Scotland. Food was put just outside of town to appease any bad or angry spirits (who might have been inadvertently shunned from the festival) and perhaps keep them from wreaking havoc on the town and damaging the winter stores. This was very important because the harvest was all the family or town had for the winter. There were no grocery stores and no way of getting more, so a bad or thin harvest meant a hard winter and concern for survival.
    The devil did not enter into Samhuinn until thousands of years later when Christianity came upon the scene. All Hallow’s Day was moved to November 1 to celebrate all those saints who did not have their own feast days. Samhuinn became All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween with many of the Celtic traditions intact since a good feast day is hard to eliminate.
    So there you have it, the brief history of Halloween! I hope you enjoyed the rather long post.