Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

It’s the night when all the spooky creatures come out to play. When witches prepare magic potions in their black cauldrons and get ready to feast. The night when the headless horseman goes looking for his lost head. It’s all part of Halloween…The modern day one that is.

The origins of Halloween goes back to the ancient times of the Celts in Britain and Ireland. The Celts are an ancient race that occupied the areas of Ireland and Northern France over 2000 years ago. It is from their ancient festival of Samhain (pronounced Sow-in) that the modern celebrations of Halloween came about.

According to the Celtic calendar, their new year fell on November 1st. It was the day that marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark cold winter, a time of the year associated with human death. The believed that on the eve of the new year the boundary between the dead and the living became blurred and ghosts of the dead returned to earth. They also thought that the presence of these spirits made it easier for the Druids to make their predictions This was what was celebrated on the night of October 31st as the Samhain.

Led by the Druids they celebrated the festival by building huge sacred bonfires, where they burnt crops and made animal sacrifices. During these celebrations the Celts wore costumes typically made out of animal heads and skins.

Then in AD 43 the Romans conquered the Celts and ruled them for 400 years. Two Roman festivals became integrated with the Samhain celebrations. One was the Feralia, a day to commemorate the passing of the dead and the other was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees.

Later Christianity made its influence on the Celts. They declared November 1st as All Saints Day, to commemorate saints and martyrs. This day was known as All Hallows or All Hallowmas. Subsequently the day before, October 31st was referred to as All Hallows Eve, which through the year turned into Halloween. Later the church declared November 2nd as the All Souls Day, a day to honor the dead and it was celebrated similar to Samhain.

Later as people migrated to the new worlds they took with them these traditions, which have evolved into the celebration that we see today.

To us SL people there is no significance of Halloween, except maybe to throw another party.


Links for the interested:

Halloween Wikipedia
Halloween History
All Saint's Day
All Soul's Day
The Goddess Pomona


Lady divine said...


pissu perera said...

appe...your blog is the perfect place for all hallows eve :p

i have 33 minutes before my time runs out so happy halloween

Azrael said...


Pissu - he he it does look like that doesn't it.