Halloween-lnks - 12/26/04
A set of web links to information on Halloween and its origins by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.
The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.
Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).
Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
From: aoife at scatoday.net
Subject: [Aoife-Links] History of Halloween
Date: October 20, 2004 5:46:39 AM CDT
To: aoife-links at scatoday.net
Greetings my faithful readers!
This week's Links list is about Halloween and it's origins. I think it important to note that several of these Halloween pages have tricky effects for opening themselves, so they load much more lsowly, but it is mildly entertaining to wait for the effect. Other neat-scary items abounding this Halloween are the political masks of the Presidential candidates (http://www.politicalmasks.com/">http://www.politicalmasks.com/). The Horror! For those with young ones, rather than the below sites I recommend The Teacher's Lounge--Happy Halloween (http://members.tripod.com/~MESword/hween.html">http://members.tripod.com/~MESword/hween.html) where everything you'll find is politically correct, non-threatening and packed with appropriate halloween fun.
As always, I am presenting this information but it's up to you to decide on it's validity. The first site presents some compelling arguments about currently held beliefs about Halloween. In the end, you are the only one who can decide what you believe, however.
Have a terrific day!
Halloween: Myths, Monsters and Devils By W. J. Bethancourt
Although copy-protected, and thus not quoted here, this is NOT a religious article, but rather one that sets out to provide us with real history pertaining to Halloween. It spends a fair amount of time de-bunking modern spurious religious beliefs about the origins of halloween, but does present both sides of the story.
History Channel: The History of Halloween
(Site excerpt) 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.
Holidayspot's History of Halloween
Despite this connection with the Roman Church, the American version of Halloween Day celebration owes its origin to the ancient (pre-Christian) Druidic fire festival called "Samhain", celebrated by the Celts in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Samhain is pronounced "sow-in", with "sow" rhyming with cow. In Ireland the festival was known as Samhein, or La Samon, the Feast of the Sun.
In Scotland, the celebration was known as Hallowe'en. In Welsh it's Nos Galen-gaeof (that is, the Night of the Winter Calends. According to the Irish English dictionary published by the Irish Texts Society: "Samhain, All Hallowtide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signalizing the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season, lasting till May, during which troops (esp. the Fiann) were quartered.
History and Customs of Halloween
(Site Excerpt) The Romans adopted the Celtic practices as their own. But in the first century AD, Samhain was assimilated into celebrations of some of the other Roman traditions that took place in October, such as their day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple, which might explain the origin of our modern tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween.
Neo-pagan's Halloween History
(Site Excerpt) Samhain or "Samhuinn" is pronounced "sow-" (as in female pig) "-en" (with the neutral vowel sound) - not "Sam Hain" - because "mh" in the middle of an Irish word is a "w" sound (don't ask me why, it's just Irish).
Halloween Art, Clip art, Backgrounds, and Effects
History of the Jack-o-lantern
(Site Excerpt) On all Hallow's eve, the Irish hollowed out Turnips, rutabagas, gourds, potatoes and beets and placed a light in them to ward off evil spirits and keep Stingy Jack away. These were the original Jack O'Lanterns.
History of Trick-or-Treat
(Site Excerpt) Irisleabhar na Gaedhilge, ii, 370, states that in parts of Count Waterford: 'Hallow E'en is called oidhche na h-aimlŽise, "The night of mischief or con". It was a custom which survives still in places -- for the "boys" to assemble in gangs, and, headed by a few horn-blowers who were always selected for their strength of lungs, to visit all the farmers' houses in the district and levy a sort of blackmail, good humouredly asked for, and as cheerfully given. They afterward met at some point of rendezvous, and in merry revelry celebrated the festival of Samhain in their own way. When the distant winding of the horns was heard, the bean a' tigh [woman of the house] got prepared for their reception, and also for the money or buil’n (white bread) to be handed to them through the half-opened door.