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 Halloween!

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Ms. Marliz
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PostSubject: Halloween!   Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:56 am

Origins and History of Halloween

* Halloween is said to have originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.
* The Celts celebrates their New Year on 1 st, November.
* Halloween day signified the advent of winter and human death.
* According to the ancient belief, the worlds of the living and dead merged on Halloween day.
* The spirits of dead ancestors were believed to return on the night of October 31.
* The priests claimed to communicate with the dead for prophesies.
* Prophesies helped the Celtic community to survive through the long, severe winter.

Halloween Celebration in the Past History

* The festival of Samhain was celebrated by lighting bonfires and sacrificing crops and animals to Celtic deities.
* The people disguised as animals using animal heads and skins.
* Fortune telling was an important tradition in the Halloween celebrations.
* People re-lit their hearth fires from the sacred flames of the bonfire.
* Bonfire was believed to protect them during the harsh winter months.
* Christianity spread into the Celtic countries during the seventh century.
* Pope Boniface designated November 1 as All Saints’ Day.
* The holiday was also referred to as “All-Hallows”.
* The night of 31 October began to be called All-Hallows Eve and gradually came to be known as “Halloween”.
* November 2 was celebrated as All Souls Day to honor the dead.
* The 3 celebrations- the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls' were combined and named Hallowmas.

History of Halloween Costumes

* It was also considered that spirits of the dead would possess the bodies of alive people.
* People dressed up in ghoulish and scary costumes in order to deter the spirits from possessing their bodies.
* They would also extinguish their hearth fires in order to make their homes cold and unwelcoming to the spirits.
* People relit their home hearths only from the sacred flames of the Druidic fire.
* The Druidic fire was constantly kept burning at Usinach in the Middle of Ireland.

Halloween in America

* Halloween was introduced to America in the 1840’s by Irish immigrants.
* The Jack-o-lantern custom was an important part of Irish folklore.
* Jack was said to have trapped the Devil into scaling a tree and catching him up there.
* Jack was rejected entry into Heaven since he had tricked the Devil.
* The Devil is said to have given Jack a small ember for light and warmth.
* This fire was kept alight in a hollowed out turnip.
* The Irish settlers in America began to use pumpkins instead of turnips as they were more easily available.
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