Tuesday, October 26, 2004
A Brief History Lesson
6 days and counting.....
As my mind is of a blank (gee what's new) tonight, I will leave you with some fascinating facts about Halloween you may or may not know about:
1. Historians can trace the source of Halloween to the Celts of the British Isles, who divided the year into only two seasons: summer and winter. At summer's end, they held a festival called Samhain, also known as the Celtic New Year.
2. Samhain was a time to celebrate the harvest, acknowledge the past, and look toward the future.
3. Those who had died in the past year were remembered and food was left for their spirits, which were said to be present as the year changed.
4. On Samhain night, all home fires were extinguished to represent the end of the year.
5. A huge new fire was built by Celtic priests (druids) and everyone re-lit their hearth fires with embers from the sacred fire.
6. It is said that Celts carried the embers from the sacred fire back to their home in hollowed out turnips, (the early version of the jack o' latern)
7. The Celts believed that the transition from the old year to the new created a sort of wrinkle in time, events that took place on this night existed outside of real time.
8. During this crossroads between past and present, magical creatures such as fairies were especially active, the fairy mounds were open on Samhain, and fairies were free to come out and create mischief.
9. Humans needed to protect themselves from tricky fairies, so some believe that wearing disguises to confuse the fairies may have been part of the Samhain ritual.
10. As Christianity took hold in Britain and Ireland around the seventh century, they developed a new spin on the nature spirits and gods that the Celts had believed in. They were recast as demons, devils, and witches.
___these ten facts are taken from the book "Halloween" by Joanne O' Sullivan