Archive for October 18th, 2011
How did Halloween come about? Well, the History Channel says it originated from the Irish.
Celtic farmers used the word Samhain, which means “The End of Summer” to signify Halloween. They believed there was one day per year that represented both the living and the dead, where spirits could rise from the dead. The Celtics lit great bonfires and dressed up in order to repel the spirits from ruining their feature crops.
In the mid-19th century, after a devastating potato famine, one billion Irish came over to the United States, which brought the traditional holiday known as “All Hallows Eve.”
About 40 odd years after Christ, the Romans had primarily conquered Celtic land. Over the next four hundred years the Romans ruled over the Celtic land and certain traditional festivals were combined and inter-woven into both cultures. The first festival was called Feralia, which happened in late October when the Romans traditionally celebrated the passing of the dead. The next festival was to honor a Roman goddess of fruit and trees named Pomona.
Needless to say, when the Celtic traditions came to the “New World,” the concept of Halloween didn’t go over well with the New England Puritans. But slowly it was disseminated into Puritan society and great bonfires were replaced with jack-o-lanterns, spirit dancing/deterring was replaced with dressing up in spooky attire, but no one really knows where/how the candy giving started…
SO the question remains: How did we go from deterring spirits from ruining our crops through rituals to giving candies to little children? We don’t let them in the house, we block them from coming inside, and appease them with bon bons. Creepy. Thought to chew on until next time.