Friday, October 2, 2009

The History of Halloween

Halloween, 1999

Does Andrew not look like a baby and man do I miss being a blonde! So I have been researching the history of Halloween to inspire me to create a festive holiday for Blake. Here are some fun tidbits that I found (this website is not the greatest, but it sums up what I have read from many other sites) from

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is the present day United Kingdom, Ireland and northern France, celebrated Samhain as their new year on November 1. This time marked the end of summer and harvest period and the beginning of the winter, which is a cold and dark time in this region of the world. The Celts associated the season with death and believed that on the night before Samhain the boundary between the living and the dead was distorted.

The Celts celebrated the night of October 31 when ghosts of the dead where believed to return to earth causing trouble and damaging the community’s food supply. Celtic priests called Druids thought it was easier to make predictions about the future during this time. For the Celts whose existence relied entirely on the whims of nature, the prophecies made by the Druids were an important source of comfort for the long, dark winter months ahead.

The Celts observed the event by burning crops and sacrificing animals to the Celtic Gods in bonfires built by the Druids. They wore costumes, typically of animal skins and heads, to tell each others’ fortunes. And when the celebration was over, the Celts lit their hearth fires from the sacred bonfire to protect them during the coming months.

I love this part:
Halloween also has some close ties to superstitions dealing with love. Some believe if you catch a snail on Halloween night and lock it in a flat dish you will see the first letter of your sweetheart’s name in the morning. Another one says that if a girl puts fresh rosemary and a silver coin under her pillow on Halloween, she will see her future husband in a dream. Girls who carry a lamp to a spring of water on this night are said to be able to see their future husband in the reflection. Additionally, carrying a broken egg in a glass to a spring of water during the day can not only see their future husband by mixing some of the spring water into the glass, but she can also see a glimpse of her future children. Another old tradition said girls should go into a field and there scatter the seed of hemp while chanting “Hempseed I sow thee Come after me and show me”. Upon turning round, it was said each girl would see a vision of the man who would be her husband.

Now, to make Blake a squid or something scary?

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