…TO ALL WHO ENTER HERE!!!!
Ancient Origins (courtesy of the History.com)
Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).
The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.
During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.
By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.
The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.
By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’, were called Hallowmas.
Common Halloween Superstitions (courtesy of History.com)
When it’s the time for Halloween celebration, it is then that the people tend to become more superstitious. There are many superstitions and myths about Halloween and most of the people have a strong belief in them. In the reservoir of common Halloween superstitions, there are distinctive kinds of superstitions: animal superstitions, witch superstitions, bats in house superstitions and many more.
Presented a few general Halloween superstitions:
• Going in for dumb supper, meaning that nobody will talk while having supper, encourages the spirits to come to the table.• It is believed that if an unmarried girl keeps a rosemary herb and a silver sixpence under her pillow on Halloween night, it is quite likely that on that very night, she would dream of her future husband.
• It is said that if you hear someones footsteps behind you on the Halloween night, you should not turn back because it may be a dead following you. And if you commit the mistake of looking back, it is likely that you might join the dead very soon.
• People believe that if on the Halloween night, a girl carrying a lamp in her hand goes to a spring of water, she will see the reflection of her life partner in water.
• People have a superstition that if an unmarried girl carries a broken egg in a glass and takes it to a spring of water, she will be able to catch the glimpse of not just her future husband, by mixing some spring water in the glass, but also she can see the reflection of her future kids.
• There is the old saying that “black cats are bad luck”. It was once believed that black cats were the devil, or consumed by evil spirits.
• People used to believe that Satan was a nut-gatherer. Nuts were also used as magic charms on the day of Halloween festival.
• If you put your clothes on inside out as well as outside walk backwards on Halloween night. At midnight you will see a witch in the sky. People used to believe witches were the devil, or that they were consumed by evil.
• There is also an old saying “if the flame on your candle goes out on Halloween celebration; it gives you the meaning that you are with a ghost”.
• If you ring a bell on Halloween it will frighten evil spirits away.
• Many people used to consider that owls would dive down to eat the souls of the dying on Halloween. They used to think if you pulled your pockets out, and left them hanging, they’d be safe.
• It has been said if a bat flies into your house on Halloween, it is a sign that ghosts or spirits are very nearer, and maybe they are in your home and let the bat in.
• People used to believe that if bats are out early on Halloween, and they fly around playfully, then good weather is to come.
• If a bat flies around your house three times on Halloween, death is very soon to come
• To ward off evil spirits on Halloween, you can bury all the animal bones in your front yard, or even put a picture of an animal very close to your doorway.
• People used to believe you could walk around your house three times backwards before sunset on Halloween, and that would take care of all evil.
• It could be the spirit of a dead loved one watching you if you watch a spider on Halloween.
SO TREAD SOFTLY AND BE WARNED!!!!!
Thank you Holy Purple Crow and Happy Anniversary