Hi Everybody!!

Hi Everybody!!
Welcome to my Hometown!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

HALLOWEEN USHERS IN THE NEW WORLD ORDER (A HALLOWEEN PHOTO BLOG)


File:Jack-o'-Lantern 2003-10-31.jpg
Hi Everybody!!
Where did the tradition of "Halloween" come from? 
Thanks to the Google Search Box, we have the answers!!!!!!
"It is Death that makes this holiday. Whether it is the threat of Death if there is a bad harvest, the End of One Order and beginning of the New......" is explained in the fantastic Halloween Documentary I found on You Tube (below).
In addition, I have shared portions of articles from Wikipedia on Halloween and Samhian. (please see below listed links to refer to main articles). By the end of the page, You should be well informed for tomorrow (10-31-2012).
You may discover some frightening things!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween

Halloween

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of "All HallowsEvening"),[5] also known as All Hallows' Eve,[6] is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. According to many scholars, All Hallows' Eve was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain.[6][7][8] Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has Christian roots.[9]
Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as "guising"), attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfiresapple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watchinghorror films.
Halloween
Halloween
jack-o'-lantern, one of the symbols of Halloween
Also calledAll Hallows' Eve
All Saints' Eve
Samhain
Observed byWestern Christians & many non-Christians around the world[1]
DateOctober 31
CelebrationsTrick-or-treating/guising,costume parties, making jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires,divinationapple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions,fireworks displays
ObservancesChurch services,[2] prayer,[3]fasting,[1] and vigils[4]
Related toSamhainHop-tu-NaaCalan GaeafKalan GwavDay of the DeadAll Saints' Day (cfvigils)
File:Jack-o'-lantern looks mean.JPG

Etymology

The word Halloween was first used in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows'-Even ('evening'), that is, the night before All Hallows' Day[10] In other countries, during the ancient times, this is also known as the festival of the dead, which starts as early as the 29th of October,and ends on the 3rd of November. Hallow's Eve could also mean the Eve of Halloween and Halloween is the Eve of All Saints' Day. Although the phrase All Hallows' is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not seen until 1556.[1

History

Celtic influences

Though the origin of the word Halloween is Christian, the holiday is commonly thought to have pagan roots.[11] Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain", which comes from the Old Irish for "summer's end".[11] Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in) was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic (IrishScottish and Manx)[12] calendar.[13][14] It was held on or about October 31 – November 1 and kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany). Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year.[15] This was a time for stock-taking and preparing for the cold winter ahead;[11] cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and livestock were slaughtered.[15] In much of the Gaelic world, bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them.[15] Some of these rituals hint that they may once have involved human sacrifice.[16][11] Divination games or rituals were also done at Samhain.[15]
Samhain (like Beltane) was seen as a time when the 'door' to the Otherworld opened enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings such as fairies, to come into our world.[17][18] The souls of the dead were said to revisit their homes on Samhain.[19] Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them.[20] Lewis Spence described it as a "feast of the dead" and "festival of the fairies".[21] However, harmful spirits and fairies were also thought to be active at Samhain. People took steps to allay or ward-off these harmful spirits/fairies, which is thought to have influenced today's Halloween customs. Before the 20th century, wearing costumes at Samhain was done in parts of IrelandMann, the Scottish Highlands and islands, and Wales.[22] Wearing costumes may have originated as a means of disguising oneself from these harmful spirits/fairies, although some suggest that the custom comes from a Christian or Christianized belief (see below). In Ireland, people went about before nightfall collecting for Samhain feasts and sometimes wore costumes while doing so.[22] In the 19th century on Ireland's southern coast, a man dressed as a white mare would lead youths door-to-door collecting food; by giving them food, the household could expect good fortune from the 'Muck Olla'.[23] In Moray during the 18th century, boys called at each house in their village asking for fuel for the Samhain bonfire.[24] The modern custom of trick-or-treating may have come from these practices. Alternatively, it may come from the Christian custom of souling(see below).
Making jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween may also have sprung from Samhain and Celtic beliefs. Turnip lanterns, sometimes with faces carved into them, were made on Samhain in the 19th century in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands.[25] As well as being used to light one's way while outside on Samhain night, they may also have been used to represent the spirits/fairies and/or to protect oneself and one's home from them.[26] However, a Christian origin has also been proposed.[27]

Christian influences


Snap-Apple Night (1832) by Daniel Maclise.
Depicts apple bobbing and divination games at a Halloween party in BlarneyIreland.
Halloween is also thought to have been influenced by the Christian holy days of All Saints' Day (also known as All HallowsHallowmas or Hallowtide) on November 1 andAll Souls' Day on November 2.[28] They were a time for honoring the saints and praying for the recently departed who had yet to reach Heaven. All Saints was introduced in the year 609, but was originally celebrated on May 13.[29] In 835, it was switched to November 1 (the same date as Samhain) at the behest of Pope Gregory IV.[29] Some have suggested this was due to Celtic influence, while others suggest it was a Germanic idea.[29]
By the end of the 12th century they had become holy days of obligation across Europe and involved such traditions as ringing bells for the souls in purgatory. "Souling", the custom of baking and sharing soul cakes for "all crysten christened souls",[30] has been suggested as the origin of trick-or-treating.[31] Groups of poor people, often children, would go door-to-door on All Saints/All Souls collecting soul cakes, originally as a means of praying for souls in purgatory.[32] Similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy.[33] Shakespearementions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering or whining] like a beggar at Hallowmas."[34] The custom of wearing costumes has been linked to All Saints/All Souls by Prince Sorie Conteh, who wrote: "It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints' Day, and All Hallows' Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognised by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities".[35] InHalloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, Nicholas Rogers explained Halloween jack-o'-lanterns as originally being representations of souls in purgatory.[27]. In Brittany children would set candles in skulls in graveyards[36].

Families picking pumpkins for Halloween in Maryland, United States, 2012
In Britain, these customs came under attack during the Reformation as Protestants berated purgatory as a "popish" doctrine incompatible with the notion of predestination.[28] This, coupled with the rising popularity of Guy Fawkes Night (5 November) from 1605 onward, led to Halloween's popularity waning in Britain, with the noteworthy exception of Scotland.[37]There and in Ireland, they had been celebrating Samhain and Halloween since at least the early Middle Ages,[12] and the Scottish kirk took a more pragmatic approach to Halloween, seeing it as important to the life cycle and rites of passage of communities and thus ensuring its survival in the country.[37]

Spread to North America

North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th century give no indication that Halloween was celebrated there.[38] ThePuritans of New England, for example, maintained strong opposition to Halloween[38] and it was not until the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that it was brought to North America in earnest.[38] Confined to the immigrant communities 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 by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.[39]

Symbols


Jack-o'-lanterns in KobeJapan
Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween,[40][41] but immigrants to North Americaused the native pumpkin, which is both much softer and much larger – making it easier to carve than a turnip.[40] Subsequently, the mass marketing of various size pumpkins in autumn, in both the corporate and local markets, has made pumpkins universally available for this purpose. The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837[42] and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.[43]

Inflatable Jack-o'-lanterns display Saugus, Massachusetts
The modern imagery of Halloween comes from many sources, including national customs, works ofGothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula) and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein and The Mummy).[44] One of the earliest works on the subject of Halloween is from Scottish poet John Mayne, who, in 1780, made note of pranks at Halloween; "What fearfu' pranks ensue!", as well as the supernatural associated with the night, "Bogies" (ghosts), influencingRobert BurnsHalloween 1785.[45] Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husksand scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.
Halloween imagery includes themes of deathevil, the occult, and mythical monsters.[46] Black and orange are Halloween's traditional colors.

Trick-or-treating and guising


Trick-or-treating in Sweden
Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy (sweets) or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to a (mostly idle) "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given.[31] In this custom the child performs some sort of trick, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, to earn their treats.
In Scotland and Ireland, guising – children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins  – is a traditional Halloween custom, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money.[41] The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children going "guising" around the neighborhood.[47]
American historian and author Ruth Edna Kelley of Massachusetts wrote the first book length history of Halloween in the US; The Book of Hallowe'en (1919), and references souling in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America";
The taste in Hallowe'en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, usingBurn's poem Hallowe'en as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used. In short, no custom that was once honored at Hallowe'en is out of fashion now.[48]

Halloween in Yonkers, New York, US
In her book, Kelley touches on customs that arrived from across the Atlantic; "Americans have fostered them, and are making this an occasion something like what it must have been in its best days overseas. All Halloween customs in the United States are borrowed directly or adapted from those of other countries".[49] While the first reference to "guising" in North America occurs in 1911, another reference to ritual begging on Halloween appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920.[50]
The earliest known use in print of the term "trick or treat" appears in 1927, from Blackie, Alberta, Canada:
Hallowe'en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.[51]
The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but not trick-or-treating.[52] The editor of a collection of over 3,000 vintage Halloween postcards writes, "There are cards which mention the custom [of trick-or-treating] or show children in costumes at the doors, but as far as we can tell they were printed later than the 1920s and more than likely even the 1930s. Tricksters of various sorts are shown on the early postcards, but not the means of appeasing them".[53] Trick-or-treating does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the first U.S. appearances of the term in 1934,[54] and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939.

Costumes


People dressed in Halloween Costumes in Dublin, Ireland.
Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.[31]
Dressing up in costumes and going "guising" was prevalent in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween by the late 19th century.[41] Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in the US in the early 20th century, as often for adults as for children. The first mass-produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1930s when trick-or-treating was becoming popular in the United States.
Halloween costume parties generally fall on or around October 31, often on the Friday or Saturday before Halloween.

Games and other activities


In this Halloween greeting card from 1904, divination is depicted: the young woman looking into a mirror in a darkened room hopes to catch a glimpse of the face of her future husband.
There are several games traditionally associated with Halloween parties. One common game is dunking or apple bobbing, which may be called "dooking" in Scotland[58] in which apples float in a tub or a large basin of water and the participants must use their teeth to remove an apple from the basin. The practice is thought by some to have derived from the Roman practices in celebration ofPomona.[31] A variant of dunking involves kneeling on a chair, holding a fork between the teeth and trying to drop the fork into an apple. Another common game involves hanging up treacle or syrup-coated scones by strings; these must be eaten without using hands while they remain attached to the string, an activity that inevitably leads to a very sticky face.
Some games traditionally played at Halloween are forms of divination. A traditional Scottish form of divining one's future spouse is to carve an apple in one long strip, then toss the peel over one's shoulder. The peel is believed to land in the shape of the first letter of the future spouse's name.[59]Unmarried women were told that if they sat in a darkened room and gazed into a mirror on Halloween night, the face of their future husband would appear in the mirror. However, if they were destined to die before marriage, a skull would appear. The custom was widespread enough to be commemorated on greeting cards[60] from the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Another game/superstition that was enjoyed in the early 1900s involved walnut shells. People would write fortunes in milk on white paper. After drying, the paper was folded and placed in walnut shells. When the shell was warmed, milk would turn brown therefore the writing would appear on what looked like blank paper. Folks would also play fortune teller. In order to play this game, symbols were cut out of paper and placed on a platter. Someone would enter a dark room and was ordered to put her hand on a piece of ice then lay it on a platter. Her "fortune" would stick to the hand. Paper symbols included: dollar sign-wealth, button-bachelorhood, thimble-spinsterhood, clothespin- poverty, rice-wedding, umbrella- journey, caldron-trouble, 4-leaf clover- good luck, penny-fortune, ring-early marriage, and key-fame.[61]
The telling of ghost stories and viewing of horror films are common fixtures of Halloween parties. Episodes of television series and Halloween-themed specials (with the specials usually aimed at children) are commonly aired on or before Halloween, while new horror films are often released theatrically before Halloween to take advantage of the atmosphere.

Haunted attractions


Humorous tombstones in front of a house in northern California.
Haunted attractions are entertainment venues designed to thrill and scare patrons. Most attractions are seasonal Halloween businesses. Origins of these paid scare venues are difficult to pinpoint, but it is generally accepted that they were first commonly used by theJunior Chamber International (Jaycees) for fundraising.[62] They include haunted houses, corn mazes, and hayrides,[63] and the level of sophistication of the effects has risen as the industry has grown. Haunted attractions in the United States bring in an estimate $300–500 million each year, and draw some 400,000 customers, although press sources writing in 2005 speculated that the industry had reached its peak at that time.[62] This maturing and growth within the industry has led to technically more advanced special effects and costuming, comparable with that of Hollywood films.[64]

Foods

Because Halloween comes in the wake of the yearly apple harvest, candy apples (known as toffee apples outside North America), caramel or taffy apples are common Halloween treats made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, sometimes followed by rolling them in nuts.
At one time, candy apples were commonly given to children, but the practice rapidly waned in the wake of widespread rumors that some individuals were embedding items like pins and razor blades in the apples in the United States.[65] While there is evidence of such incidents,[66] they are quite rare and have never resulted in serious injury. Nonetheless, many parents assumed that such heinous practices were rampant because of the mass media. At the peak of the hysteria, some hospitals offered free X-rays of children's Halloween hauls in order to find evidence of tampering. Virtually all of the few known candy poisoning incidents involved parents who poisoned their own children's candy.[67]
One custom that persists in modern-day Ireland is the baking (or more often nowadays, the purchase) of a barmbrack (Irishbáirín breac), which is a light fruitcake, into which a plain ring, a coin and other charms are placed before baking. It is said that those who get a ring will find their true love in the ensuing year. This is similar to the tradition of king cake at the festival of Epiphany.
List of foods associated with Halloween:

Around the world

The traditions and importance of Halloween vary greatly among countries that observe it. In Scotland and Ireland, traditional Halloween customs include children dressing up in costume going "guising", holding parties, while other practices in Ireland include lighting bonfires, and having firework displays.[68][69] Mass transatlantic immigration in the 19th century popularized Halloween in North America, and celebration in the United States and Canada has had a significant impact on how the event is observed in other nations. This larger North American influence, particularly in iconic and commercial elements, has extended to places such as South AmericaAustralia,[70]New Zealand,[71] (most) continental Europe, Japan, and other parts of East Asia.[72]

Religious perspectives

Christianity

Christian attitudes towards Halloween are diverse. In the Anglican Church, some dioceses have chosen to emphasize the Christian traditions associated with All Hallow's Eve.[73][74] Some of these practises include prayingfasting and attending worship services.[1][2][3]
Father, All-Powerful and Ever-Living God, today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place. May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. —All Hallow's Eve Prayer from theLiturgy of the Hours[75]
Other Protestant Christians also celebrate All Hallows' Eve as Reformation Day, a day to remember the Protestant Reformation, alongside All Hallow's Eve or independently from it.[76][77] Often, "Harvest Festivals" or "Reformation Festivals" are held as well, in which children dress up as Bible characters or Reformers.[78]
Father Gabriele Amorth, a Vatican-appointed exorcist in Rome, has said, "if English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that."[79] In more recent years, theRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has organized a "Saint Fest" on Halloween.[80] Similarly, many contemporary Protestant churches view Halloween as a fun event for children, holding events in their churches where children and their parents can dress up, play games, and get candy for free. Many Christians ascribe no negative significance to Halloween, treating it as a fun event devoted to "imaginary spooks" and handing out candy. To these Christians, Halloween holds no threat to the spiritual lives of children: being taught about death and mortality, and the ways of the Celtic ancestors actually being a valuable life lesson and a part of many of their parishioners' heritage.[81] In the Roman Catholic Church, Halloween's Christian connection is sometimes cited,[82] and Halloween celebrations are common in Catholic parochial schools throughout North America and in Ireland. Nevertheless, the Vatican has strongly condemned the traditions popularly associated with Halloween as being "pagan" and "anti-Christian".[83]
Some Christians feel concerned about the modern celebration of Halloween, and reject it because they feel it trivializes – or celebrates –paganism, the occult, or other practices and cultural phenomena deemed incompatible with their beliefs.[84] A response among somefundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches in recent years has been the use of "Hell houses", themed pamphlets, or comic-style tracts such as those created by Jack T. Chick in order to make use of Halloween's popularity as an opportunity for evangelism.[80]Some consider Halloween to be completely incompatible with the Christian faith,[85] believing it to have originated as a pagan "Festival of the Dead".

Paganism

Celtic Neopagans consider the season a holy time of year.[86] Celtic Reconstructionists, and others who maintain ancestral customs, make offerings to the gods and the ancestors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain

Samhain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Samhain
Also calledSamhuinn (Scottish Gaelic)
Sauin (Manx Gaelic)
Observed byHistorically: Gaels
Today: Irish peopleScottish peopleManx peopleCeltic neopagans and Wiccans
TypeCultural,
Pagan (Celtic polytheismCeltic NeopaganismWicca)
SignificanceEnd of the harvest season, beginning of winter
DateSunset 31 October – sunset 1 November (N. Hemisphere)
Sunset 30 April – sunset 1 May (S. Hemisphere)
CelebrationsBonfiresguisingdivination,apple bobbingfeasting
Related toHalloweenHop-tu-NaaCalan GaeafKalan GwavAll Saints' DayAll Souls' Day


Samhain (play /ˈsɑːwɪn//ˈs.ɪn/, or /ˈsn/),[1]—sometimes Anglicized as Sawin, Sowin, or similar—is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning ofwinter or the 'darker half' of the year. Most commonly it is held on 31 October–1 November, or halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Along with ImbolcBeltaneand Lughnasadh it makes up the four Gaelic seasonal festivals. It was observed in Ireland,Scotland and the Isle of Man. Kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in otherCeltic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany).
Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature. Many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. In much of the Gaelic world, bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them, as at Beltane. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.[2] Samhain (like Beltane) was seen as a time when the 'door' to the Otherworld opened enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings, to come into our world. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. It has thus been likened to a festival of the dead. People also took steps to protect themselves from harmful spirits, which is thought to have led to the custom of guisingDivination was also done at Samhain.
It was popularized as the "Celtic New Year" from the late 19th century, following Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer.[3] It has been linked with All Saints' Day (and later All Souls' Day) since the 9th century, when the date of that holiday was shifted to 1 November. Both have strongly influenced the secular customs of Halloween.[4]
Samhain is still celebrated as a cultural festival by some (though it has mostly been replaced by Halloween) and, since the 20th century, has been celebrated as a religious festival by Celtic neopagans and Wiccans.[5] Neopagans in the southern hemisphere often celebrate Samhain at the other end of the year 


Historic Samhain customs

Samhain was one of the four main festivals of the Gaelic calendar, marking the last harvest and beginning of winter.[16] Traditionally, Samhain was a time to take stock of the herds and food supplies. Cattle were brought down to the winter pastures after six months in the higher summer pastures.[16] It was also the time to choose which animals would need to be slaughtered for the people to survive the winter. This custom is still observed by many who farm and raise livestock[2][26] because it is when meat will keep since the freeze has come and also since summer grass is gone and free foraging is no longer possible.

Bonfires were a big part of the festival in many areas (pictured is a Beltane bonfire in Scotland)
As with the other three Gaelic seasonal festivals, there is evidence that bonfires were lit on hilltops at Samhain.[16] However, Ronald Hutton says that this only seems to have been common along Scotland's Highland Line, on the Isle of Man, in north and mid Wales, and in parts of Ulster heavily settled by Scots.[27] In Scotland, these bonfires were called samhnagan,and they were usually made from flammable materials like ferns, tar-barrels, and anything else that would burn.[28] In the late 18th century, John Ramsay of Ochtertyre wrote that, in that part of Scotland, a ring of stones was laid round the fire to represent each person. Everyone then ran round it with a torch, "exulting". In the morning, the stones were examined and if any was mislaid it was said that the person for whom it was set would not live out the year. A similar practise was observed in north Wales[29] and in Brittany.[30] James Frazer says that this may come from "an older custom of actually burning them" (i.e. human sacrifice).[31] In Moray, boys asked for bonfire fuel from each house in the village. When the fire was lit, "one after another of the youths laid himself down on the ground as near to the fire as possible so as not to be burned, and in such a position as to let the smoke roll over him. The others ran through the smoke and jumped over him". It is likely that the smoke was thought to have protective powers.[29] In 19th century northeast Scotland, people carried a torch of fir wood around their fields to protect them. On South Uist, people did likewise with burning turf.[27] Sometimes, two bonfires would be built side by side, and the people—sometimes with their livestock—would walk between them as a ritual of purification. The bones of slaughtered cattle were said to have been cast upon bonfires. In the pre-Christian Gaelic world, cattle were the main unit of currency and the center of agricultural and pastoral life. In some parts, people doused their hearth fires on Samhain night. Each family then solemnly lit its hearth from the communal bonfire, thus bonding the families of the village together.[2][26] In the 17th century, Geoffrey Keating wrote that the druids of ancient Ireland would gather on Tlachta on Samhain night to kindle a sacred fire. From this, every bonfire in the land was lit, and from thence every home in the land relit their hearth, which had been doused that night. However, his source is unknown, and Ronald Hutton supposes that Keating had mistaken a Beltane custom for a Samhain one.[12]

An Irish turnip lantern from the early 20th century at the Museum of Country Life
As noted earlier, beings and souls from the Otherworld were said to come into our world at Samhain. It is still the custom in some areas to set a place at the Samhain feast for the souls of dead kinfolk and to tell tales of one's forebears.[2][26] However, the souls of thankful kin could return to bestow blessings just as easily as that of a murdered person could return to wreak revenge.[32] Fairies were thought to steal humans on Samhain and fairy mounds were to be avoided. People took steps to allay or ward-off these harmful spirits and fairies. They stayed near to home or, if forced to walk in the darkness, turned their clothing inside-out or carried iron or salt to keep the fairies at bay.[16] Offerings of food were left at the door for the fairies to ensure their favor in the coming year.[33] Turnip lanterns, sometimes with faces carved into them, were common at Samhain in the 19th century in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands.[34] The purpose of these lanterns may have been threefold. They may have been used to light one's way while outside on Samhain night; to represent the spirits and otherworldly beings; and/or to protect oneself and one's home from them.[35] Bettina Arnold writes that they were sometimes set on windowsills to keep them out of one's home.[36] However, others suggest that they originated with All Saints/All Souls and that they represented Christian souls in purgatory.[37]
Wearing costumes and masks (or 'guising') may have been another way to befuddle, ward-off or represent the harmful spirits and fairies. Guising or mumming was common at winter festivals in general, but was "particularly appropriate to a night upon which supernatural beings were said to be abroad".[38] Before the 20th century, guising at Samhain was done in parts of Ireland, Mann, the Scottish Highlands and islands, and Wales.[38] In Ireland, costumes were sometimes worn by those who went about before nightfall collecting for a Samhain feast.[38] On Samhain in parts of southern Ireland during the 19th century there was a Láir Bhán (white mare) procession. Someone covered in a white sheet and carrying a decorated horse skull (representing the Láir Bhán) would lead a group of youths, blowing on cow horns, from house to house. At each, they recited verses and those inside were expected to donate food and other gifts. The greater the donation, the greater the blessings that would be bestowed on them by the 'Muck Olla'. This is akin to the Mari Lwyd (grey mare) procession in Wales. Some have linked this custom with pagan goddesses of sovereignty, who were often associated with white horses.[39] In Scotland, young men would dress in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces.[28][36] This was common in the 16th century in the Scottish countryside and persisted into the 20th.[40] Hutton writes: "When imitating malignant spirits it was a very short step from guising to playing pranks". Playing pranks at Samhain is recorded in the Scottish Highlands as far back as 1736 and was also common in Ireland, which led to Samhain being nicknamed "Mischief Night" in some parts.[38] Guising and pranks at All Saints isn't thought to have reached England until the 20th century, though mumming had been done at other festivals.[38] At the time of mass transatlantic Irish and Scottish immigration, which popularized Halloween in North America, Halloween in Ireland and Scotland had a strong tradition of guising and pranks.[41] Trick-or-treating may have come from the custom of going door-to-door collecting food for Samhain feasts, fuel for Samhain bonfires and/or offerings for the spirits and fairies. Alternatively, it may have come from the English All Saints/All Souls custom of collecting soul cakes.
Divination has likely been a part of the festival since ancient times,[16] and it has survived in some rural areas.[42] The most common uses were to find out the identity of one's future spouse, the location of one's future home, and how many children one might have. Seasonal foods such as apples and nuts were often eaten in these rituals. Apples were peeled, the peel tossed over the shoulder, and its shape examined to see if it formed the first letter of the future spouse's name.[43] Nuts were roasted on the hearth and their behavior interpreted - if the nuts stayed together, so would the couple. Egg whites were dropped in water, and the shapes foretold the number of future children. Children would also chase crows and divine some of these things from the number of birds or the direction they flew.[2][26][28]
A Samhain custom thought to be a survival of a pagan ritual was observed on Iona until the late 18th century and on Lewis until the early 19th. On 31 October, the locals would go down to the shore. One man would wade into the water up to his waist, where he would pour out a cup of ale and ask 'Seonaidh' (anglicized as 'Shoney')—likely an old pagan god—to bestow blessings on them


Celtic Revival

During the late 19th and early 20th century Celtic Revival, there was an upswell of interest in Samhain and the other Celtic festivals. SirJohn Rhys put forth that it had been the "Celtic New Year". He inferred it from contemporary folklore in Ireland and Wales, which he felt was "full of Hallowe'en customs associated with new beginnings". He visited Mann and found that the Manx sometimes called 31 October "New Year's Night" or Hog-unnaa. The Tochmarc Emire, written in the Middle Ages, reckoned the year around the four festivals at the beginning of the seasons, and put Samhain at the beginning of those. However, Hutton says that the evidence for it being the Celtic or Gaelic New Year's Day is flimsy.[44] Rhys's theory was popularized by Sir James George Frazer, though at times he did acknowledge that the evidence is inconclusive. Frazer also put forth that Samhain had been the pagan Celtic festival of the dead and that it had been Christianized as All Saints and All Souls.[44] Since then, Samhain has been popularly seen as the Celtic New Year and an ancient festival of the dead. The calendar of the Celtic League, for example, begins and ends at Samhain

File:Candelabra and Grave Dirt (58205188).jpg
Neopagans honoring the dead as part of a Samhain ritual


All Saints' Day

The Roman Catholic holy day of All Saints (or All Hallows) was introduced in the year 609, but was originally celebrated on 13 May.[46]In 835, Louis the Pious switched it to 1 November in the Carolingian Empire, at the behest of Pope Gregory IV.[46] However, from the testimony of Pseudo-Bede, it is known that churches in what are now England and Germany were already celebrating All Saints on 1 November at the beginning of the 8th century.[46][47][48] Thus, Louis merely made official the custom of celebrating it on 1 November. James Frazer suggests that 1 November was chosen because it was the date of the Celtic festival of the dead (Samhain) – the Celts had influenced their English neighbors, and English missionaries had influenced the Germans. However, Ronald Hutton points out that, according to Óengus of Tallaght (d. ca. 824), the 7th/8th century church in Ireland celebrated All Saints on 20 April. He suggests that the 1 November date was a Germanic rather than a Celtic idea.[46]
Over time, the night of October 31 came to be called All Hallows' Eve (or All Hallows' Even). Samhain influenced All Hollows' Eve and vice-versa, and the two eventually morphed into the secular holiday known as Halloween.

[edit]Neopaganism


Neopagans honoring the dead as part of a Samhain ritual
Samhain and Samhain-based festivals are held by some Neopagans. As there are many kinds of Neopaganism, their Samhain celebrations can be very different despite the shared name. Some try to emulate the historic festival as much as possible. Other Neopagans base their celebrations on sundry unrelated sources, Gaelic culture being only one of the sources.[5][49][50]Folklorist Jenny Butler[51] describes how Irish pagans pick some elements of historic Samhain celebrations and meld them with references to the Celtic past, making a new festival of Samhain that is inimitably part of neo-pagan culture.

[edit]Celtic Reconstructionism

Like other Reconstructionist traditions, Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans emphasize historical accuracy. They base their celebrations and rituals on traditional lore as well as research into the beliefs of the polytheistic Celts.
Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans (or CRs) tend[clarification needed] to celebrate Samhain about the date of first frost, or when the last of the harvest is in and the ground is dry enough to have a bonfire. Some follow the old tradition of building two bonfires, which celebrants and livestock then walk or dance between as a ritual of purification.[2][26][50][52] For CRs, it is a time when the dead are especially honored. Though CRs make offerings at all times of the year, Samhain is a time when more elaborate offerings are made to specific ancestors. This may involve making a small shrine. Often there will be a meal, where a place for the dead is set at the table and they are invited to join. Traditional tales may be told and traditional songs, poems and dances performed. A western-facing door or window may be opened and a candle left burning on the windowsill to guide the dead home. Divination for the coming year is often done, whether in all solemnity or as games for the children. The more mystically inclined may also see this as a time for deeply communing with their deities, especially those seen as being particularly linked with this festival.[2][26][50][52][53]

[edit]Wicca

Wiccans celebrate a variation of Samhain as one of the yearly Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year. It is deemed by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four 'greater Sabbats.' It is generally held on October 31 in the Northern Hemisphere, starting at sundown. Samhain is seen by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have died, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the dead are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the spring festival of Beltane, which Wiccans celebrate as a festival of light and fertility

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain



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The Real Story of Halloween

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izfwvrA4V-I
Uploaded by  on Oct 28, 2011
Halloween began centuries ago as a pagan holiday that honored the dead that warned of a netherworld of spirits and ghosts. Today, Halloween has morphed into a day for breaking rules, pushing boundaries and wearing disguises. But Halloween remains a time for us to deal with our own mortality. Our modern Halloween traditions have ancient roots -- people were going door to door and begging for treats on Halloween night as far back as the Middle Ages.

We may think our Halloweens are crazy, but Halloweens past have been wilder and more dangerous than they are now. During the depression, Halloween became so violent and destructive that civil authorities had to step in and prevent wide-spread vandalism in cities across America. Their solution, the ritual of "trick or treat," now generates $2 billion dollars in candy sales each season. And these days adults get dressed up for the holiday almost as much as kids do. But no matter how many jack-o-lanterns get carved or kids yell "trick-or-treat!" Halloween is still all about the "scare." Two thousand years and counting, and we still like to be scared on the night of October 31

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....this is brendasue signing off from Rainbow Creek.  See You next time!
Please Be Careful tomorrow.

Of course, one more great performance



John fogerty - Bad Moon Rising live!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H06_0ApzkzY

Uploaded by  on Jan 5, 2009
Man has a great imagination, but no one have the imagination of john Fogerty.

I see a bad moon rising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin'.
I see bad times today.

Don't go 'round tonight,
it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise.

I hear hurricanes a blowin'.
I know the end is comin' soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

Don't go 'round tonight
it's bound to take your life
there's a bad moon on the rise.

Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
Looks like we're in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye.

Don't go 'round tonight
it's bound to take your life
there's a bad moon on the rise.

Don't go 'round tonight
it's bound to take your life
there's a bad moon on the rise.

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image credit:

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O+O