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Origin of Halloween ( Archived) (5)

Oct 27, 2008 4:27 PM CST Origin of Halloween
hasagoodheart
hasagoodhearthasagoodheartGalway, Ireland31 Threads 589 Posts
As Halloween approaches, thought I would contribute something about the origins of the night and see how an International audience would respond to this Thread (previously posted on IE and EU Forums).

History
Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a harvest celebration. Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient Pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. It was believed believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.

History of name
The term Halloween is shortened from All Hallows' Even (both "even" and "eve" are abbreviations of "evening", but "Halloween" gets its "n" from "even") as it is the eve of "All Hallows' Day", which is now also known as All Saints' Day. It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions, until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 (which had itself been the date of a pagan holiday, the Feast of the Lemures) to November 1.

Symbols
The carved pumpkin, lit by a candle inside, is one of Halloween's most prominent symbols. Originating in Europe, these lanterns were first carved from a turnip. Believing that the head was the most powerful part of the body containing the spirit and the knowledge, the Celts used the "head" of the vegetable to frighten off any superstitions.


A thought for ye....

Moving Christian festivals alongside Pagans ones was an attempt by Christians to compete head-on with the Pagans (Christmas Day & the Mid Winter Solstice, Easter and the Spring Equinvox, St Johns Eve and Mid-Summer).

But deep down I reckon there's a Pagan in all of us. Agree ?


Peter
hug
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Oct 27, 2008 5:36 PM CST Origin of Halloween
tipaly81
tipaly81tipaly81Moscow, Idaho USA71 Threads 15 Polls 1,334 Posts
cool I love learning about these origins. I always pull out the little fact about the turnips and pumpkins. Especially since I usually am the one who would cook w/ them the most. They are so yummy.

Good to see ya Peter. Take care of yourself and good luck w/ the new diet. wave

Tip
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Oct 27, 2008 6:17 PM CST Origin of Halloween
druidess6308
druidess6308druidess6308Aliquippa, Pennsylvania USA99 Threads 20,283 Posts
For some of us, there's more than a little Pagan. wave

On Samhain I honor my dead loved ones. It is a very spiritual time for me as I do follow the old ways of my Celtic ancestors and believe (and feel) that the veils between worlds are thinner. It's a time I reach out to those who have gone before and let them know I still love them.

hug heart wings
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Oct 27, 2008 7:57 PM CST Origin of Halloween
trish123
trish123trish123Macclesfield, Cheshire, England UK231 Threads 6 Polls 19,911 Posts
hasagoodheart: As Halloween approaches, thought I would contribute something about the origins of the night and see how an International audience would respond to this Thread (previously posted on IE and EU Forums).

History
Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a harvest celebration. Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient Pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. It was believed believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.

History of name
The term Halloween is shortened from All Hallows' Even (both "even" and "eve" are abbreviations of "evening", but "Halloween" gets its "n" from "even") as it is the eve of "All Hallows' Day", which is now also known as All Saints' Day. It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions, until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 (which had itself been the date of a pagan holiday, the Feast of the Lemures) to November 1.

Symbols
The carved pumpkin, lit by a candle inside, is one of Halloween's most prominent symbols. Originating in Europe, these lanterns were first carved from a turnip. Believing that the head was the most powerful part of the body containing the spirit and the knowledge, the Celts used the "head" of the vegetable to frighten off any superstitions.A thought for ye....

Moving Christian festivals alongside Pagans ones was an attempt by Christians to compete head-on with the Pagans (Christmas Day & the Mid Winter Solstice, Easter and the Spring Equinvox, St Johns Eve and Mid-Summer).

But deep down I reckon there's a Pagan in all of us. Agree ? Peter


I have to question the notion that the dead could ever become dangerous for the living - were they on drugs or something? confused
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Oct 27, 2008 8:08 PM CST Origin of Halloween
druidess6308
druidess6308druidess6308Aliquippa, Pennsylvania USA99 Threads 20,283 Posts
trish123: I have to question the notion that the dead could ever become dangerous for the living - were they on drugs or something?


Thank you, Trish...I was wondering about that part myself...dangerous? Only in people's minds because they fear what they don't understand.

hug wave
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by hasagoodheart (31 Threads)
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