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





10 comments:

mangey cur said...

Yay Samhain! Looking forward to celebrations on Nov. 1...gee, and Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 2...the festivities are endless. Too bad you and Liz won't be here for that....

Elizabeth said...

Whoa, that was cool info!

Oh, so the move is suppose to be the weekend of the 3rd, so I guess the following weekend? I hope it doesn't get pushed!

bunny said...

I like fun weird histories on Halloween and whatever else. I'm building my first Day of the Dead altar this weekend and am kind of excited and kind of nervous.

Garrison Steelle said...

The ancient Irish were incredibly in tune and in harmony with the Universe. Even now I don't think we fully realize just how wonderfully advanced their civilization was back when everyone else was still wandering around in the deserts.

I wonder what would happen if I actually hollowed out a turnip and set it on the front porch? ;)

-G

Elizabeth said...

Beware of the fairies G!!!

Maybe we can go fiary hunting this weekend?

Or... maybe we need to find a local graveyard?

Jennifer said...

I likea dat picture! Very cool.

Smiley said...

We celts know how to have a good time. What can I say.

mangey cur said...

Groovy...was just outside checking out the lunar eclipse (tis 8:15 pm). Goes well with this post. Ooowwwoooo!!!!

vampyregirl said...

Satan and I were also checking out the eclipse last night...tried to take photos, but all that came out was a tiny speck.. or just a big blur...

Liz..we can go fairie hunting if you like, I will have to check on the graveyard thing...I know of one, but it is about 30 minutes away...

SJ said...

It's all about how the fucking Christians made everything that didn't fall in line with them into a demon or a devil. It's unreal, dude.