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A Haunting History of Halloween

Every October 31st we celebrate Halloween (also known as All Hallow’ Eve), a day of horror movies, scary costumes and masses of candy. We don our costumes, go to parties, trick or treat, and have a deliciously wicked night of fun. But there is so much more to this day than tasty treats and partying. Much more…

It’s commonly believed that the origins of Halloween date back over two thousand years ago to the time of Celtic druids who lived in the British Isles, as well as parts of Germany, France and Scandinavia. The ancient Celts called this festival Samhain and it marked the end of summer and the harvest, and the beginning of the dark, freezing winter – a time of year often associated with death. It was believed that on this night that the veil between the dead and the living thinned and that the spirits of the dead could freely wander the earth. The living would disguise themselves to ward off the roaming ghosts. They would also create massive bonfires in attempt to rekindle the diminishing energy of the sun god in the winter.

As time went on and myths and legends grew and altered, this became more than a day of the dead. Halloween was said to be when all forces of evil – witches, demons, vampires, werewolves, fairies – came out.

Then the Christian Church came and tried to destroy the old pagan ways. Since they could not completely obliterate the old pagan beliefs, they instead assimilated them into their own framework. In the year 835, All Saints’ Day was introduced and its eve, Halloween, replaced Samhain.

Similar traditions can be found on other days, for example, in Romania on November 30, St. Andrew’s Night, a feast is held and the dead are believed to wander the earth. All pots are covered in case vampires might try to hide in one and garlic is rubbed onto doorframes for protection against evil.

So be wary of this party night Dear Readers, evil may be afoot.

– Moonlight

 

All Saints’ DayHalloweenHistory of HalloweenSamhainSt. Andrew’s Night

Moonlight • October 24, 2012


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