Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Hallowed History of Halloween...

Hi, welcome to my blog Octoberlicious. Fall is my favorite season, October is my favorite month and Halloween is my favorite holiday. So when thinking about a blog I could actually keep up with and WANT to keep up with, I figured why not impart my Octoberlicious knowledge upon the blogosphere. So welcome to all the readers and enjoy! Please feel free to comment and write whenever you want. If you have a certain topic you want to see covered, drop me a line at Lets get this rolling with a little history =)

.Where It All Began.

5th Century B.C. Celtic Headstone

The origins of this spooky day go all the way back to 5th century B.C. in Celtic Ireland. It appears that the Paleopagan Druid and Celtic societies celebrated four major holidays: Samhain, Oimelc, Beltane and Lughnasadh. Samhain (pronounced Sow-en) was the begining of the winter half of the year and most scholars believe it was the Celtic New Year. Their celebrations lasted three days, with the day before Samhain being the last day of Summer and the day after being the first day of Winter. Samhain was (and still is) said to be very magical due to it falling between seasons (or years).

.A Christian Holiday Afterall.

With the coming of Christianity, this festival was turned into Hallow-e'en (October 31st), All Saints Day (November 1st) and All Souls Day (November 2nd). The Christian Church was unable to stop people from celebrating the holiday so they twisted a few things to match their agendas and gave it a new name which was the same thing they did with some of the other Paleopagan holidays and customs.

.Coming to America.

Vintage Halloween Postcard

Halloween wasn't brought to America until the 1840's when Irish immigrants who were fleeing their country's potato famine came over and brought their traditions with them. In the beginning of the 20th century Halloween resembled something more like Valentine's Day than the Halloween of spooks and gore that we are accustomed to today. Parties were the rage where bobbing for apples wasn't just a game but a chance to search the omens found in apple seeds and peels. Auguries in candle flames, in pumpkins, seeds, nuts and mirrors all were employed by the curious to find out who their future romantic interest would be. You would frequently see images of cupid in the postcards of the era. In the 1930's Halloween was referred to as Beggar's Night and this is when the curve towards today's Halloween started to happen.

.What's In A Name.

Samhain became All Hallows Eve when the Catholic Church changed it. Then All Hallows Eve was contracted to Hallow-e'en and finally to what we all know today, Halloween.

Until next time...

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