Saturday, October 13, 2012

The History of Halloween PART 1

Halloween...All Hallows Evening.....Samhain, all names for a holiday that takes place on October 31.  Halloween is one holiday that is observed around the most if not all of the world. October 31 is the day before the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. November 1st is All Saints Day for Western Christians and is celebrated by Roman Catholic Churches. There are some scholars who believe that Halloween originated from Pagan tradition first. The word Halloween wasn't used Until the 16th century. The word Halloween represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Eve.
Historian Nicholas Rogers noted that some folklorists have detected it's origins in the Roman Feast of Pomona ( Pomona is the Roman Goddess of fruit and seeds) or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia. It is linked mostly to the Celtic festival of Samhain ( Samhain is derived from the old Irish Samuin meaning Summer's End).
The Irish and Scottish people believed that Halloween was the day when our world an the supernatural world were at it's closest and that magical things could happen during the night. The souls of the dead were said to revisit their homes on Samhain eve.
The Gaels believe that the only way to ward off evil spirits was to build huge bonfires and invoke the help of the Gods through animal or human sacrifices.
The Puritans of New England maintained strong opposition to the holiday and it wasn't until the mass Irish and Scottish Immigration during the 19th century that the holiday was introduced to the continent in the earnest.During the mid 19th century it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the 20th century it was being celebrated coast to coast.
One thing most people now do on Halloween is pumpkin carving. The carving of the pumpkins spring from the Samhain custom of caring turnips into lanterns to remember the souls held in purgatory. Immigrants in North America used pumpkins because they were native to the area and easier to carve than turnips. American pumpkin carving can be seen recorded as early as 1837.
Are you saying WOW yet? Well how about this?
One of the earliest woks on the subject of Halloween was from a Scottish poet named John Mayne who in 1780 made a note of Halloween pranks and ghost stories that were done on the night of All Hallows eve.

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