History of Halloween

The History of Halloween is a long tale of ancient peoples and practices that blended over time, through military conquest, culture, religions, mysticism and survival of the human imagination.

Halloween’s history as we know it today in America, can be traced all the way back to the days of the druids and Celtic peoples of pre-roman Europe.

The druids were an incredibly advanced people, scholars and priests that surged fourth as humans first began to cultivate, farm and harvest the crops of a fertile soil.

In the place of the far more ancient hunting and gathering they had once practiced, those once of nomadic tribes began to settle the land with sustainable agricultural practices and gods that gave them an identity and language.

It can be synthesized that the very first Halloween rituals may have gone on as many as 9,000 to 5,000 years ago in the settled and peaceful lands that once pertained to western European civilizations, from as far north as Gaelic Ireland, to as far south as the Gaels of France.

When, or even how, the very first celebration occurred remains a mystery to our scientists and historians as few records remain.

The mystery of the culture is held fast by the veil of druid lore, a tradition both at once cruelly destroyed by military force, and at the same time, respectfully preserved in documents by Julius Caesar of Rome.

We only know that Halloween was celebrated as the changing of the seasons, the ending of summer and the beginning of winter, a time very much associated with death and the dead, a belief that has been common in many cultures around the world throughout these many aeons.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

This Celtic ritual pronounced Sow-In (rhyming with cow-in) spelled Samhain meant Summers End and was celebrated by extinguishing the hearth-fire earlier that evening, then relighting it with fire from one central, sacred, bonfire that was used to send offerings and sacrifices to the gods.

In Ireland for example, this sacred bonfire was kept in Usinach.

The Celts would wear costumes, dance and make as much noise as possible to frighten away evil spirits and protect themselves with the belief that the curtain between the land of the dead and the living was weakened on this night before the coming of winter.

One of the more special traits to Halloween that make it distinct in our historical and sociological points of view throughout time has continuously been this weakening of the boarders between the physical real-worldreality we live in from day to day, and the dream-world of nocturnal slumber, also thought of as the realm of the dead.

Although the authentic nfl jerseys pagan calendar was not as we know it today, this winter solstice festival is registered on our calendar as being the 31st of October.

In search of wealth, through the expansion of what had become both a Greek and yet still at the same time, an Etruscan Rome, Gaius Julius Caesar marched North of his peoples ancestral domain for some ten years, until finally, by 43 AD he had successfully taken the majority of Celtic lands, marking a dramatic change in the history of Halloween.

For the next four hundred years, the tradition slowly blended with the rituals and traditions of the ruling Roman lords.

Feralia is the Roman version of the coming of winter, a day in late October traditionally commemorated as the passing of the dead.

On the second day of Feralia, the Romans would honor Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees, represented symbolically by the apple, perhaps in this way blending to create the tradition of bobbing for apples.

With the building of roads, technology, international communication and the continued practice of commerce, Ancient Rome could be traveled from one end to the other to the point that by the ninth century AD, Christian missionaries had spread their influence throughout most of the Celtic civilization and Pope Boniface the fourth decided to designate November 1st as All Saints Day.

Hallow is an ancient corruption of Gaelic meaning soul. And in Middle English of the dark ages, Alhallowmesse or All-Hallowmas began to replace the traditional Celtic day of Samhain, and Samhain became the Evening before Hallowmasor just Hallows Eve.

To Christian clerics of the Dark Ages, the tales of Faeries, Witches, Elves, Magic and other polytheist stories and cultures of the ancient druids presented a challenge that was an almost undead echo of a crushed peoples who’s gods, society and beauty had been buried in the oppression and bloodshed of centuries long forgotten.

In an attempt to extinguish the last remains of cheap mlb jerseys distant, dead, and lost gods, the church enshrouded the mists of the dreaming with their own mythologies.

So powerful, natural and pure is the human imagination with respect to the ways of these ancient astronomers, mages, priests, spirit speakers and scholars of this pagan lore, that by the year 1000 AD, the church decided to determine a new day for Feralia, November 2nd.

Declaring November 2nd as Feralia was almost a second attempt at ridding the world of pagan gods, but had a reverse effect, as Feralia had been traditionally respected as the day of ray ban sunglasses the dead and celebrated on February 21st near Carnival and actually reinforced more pagan celebration.

In the 800s AD, November second was celebrated by Christian peoples by going from house to house asking for soul cakes in honor of dead souls.

This was due to the ongoing belief that after death, the human soul would continue in a kind of limbo between life and death, and that prayer, even those offered by strangers would help that soul find its way to the heavenly father.

The more soul cakes people would collect from a faces house, the more prayer they would offer to those departed.

The history of Halloween is more easily understood from around a 1000 AD on, as it is more and more isolated in the surviving Celtic territories, such as northern Ireland, where the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemain looses most all of its influence and therein leaving the Celts nothing more than a shadow of the remains of their true cultural identity and religion.

The Hallowma is from this time on now known as the three days of celebration, All-Hallows Eve or October 31st, All-Hallows Day (All-Saints Day) November 1st and Feralia or the day of the dead November 2nd.

Celtic gods and legends were kept alive through the work of bards and storytellers with such popular works as Tam Lin, an Elven Grey of Carterhaugh in Selkirk Scotland.

His race against the Grey Elves of the Faerie Queen on the night of Halloween, his being a sacrifice to Hell and Janets struggle to free him from his destiny eventually provokes the sundering between the two realms of Fae and ours…

But every Halloween, when these stories are told, and retold, the very fabric of reality as we know it seems to slip away into the dreaming as we once again find hope in our human dreams.

Stories, legends, myth, fae; all those things that inspire our human imagination and our dreams have been an intricate part of Halloween, all throughout its history, and especially in Ireland where it wasnt until the industrial revolution and the age of reason began to push away the veil of Avalons mists did it find its way to our glorious nation of free thought and wisdom.

America! Where the streets are paved with GOLD! That was what hurled the starving Irish of the potato famine in 1840 to New York, human hope.

The CraNogs of the sacred isles where Merlin once moved Stonehenge through the folds of faery to their present location away from Roman domination had never perished in the imagination of the people and such magical tales as those told about Jack and his Lantern survived among the children of those Irish settlers and spread to the four corners of this proud and free land of ours.

The very tale of the vagrant Irish drunk called Jack, who tricked the devil into climbing a tree, chiseling a cross in the tree, trapping the devil Wholesale Jerseys and making him promise to never tempt him again for example.

When he died it was told by the ancient women of those pioneer days, that for his evil deeds, Jack was not allowed into heaven and that for his wit and trickery neither cheap nfl jerseys into hell was admitted, and that at the doors of hell the devil presented him a hollowed out turnip and candle to light his way in the realm of NOD, the nowhere land of wandering souls.

As Irish immigrants found such abundance of pumpkins however in the Americasand a lack of turnips, the Irish tradition of carving turnips on Halloween soon became the American tradition of carving Jack O Lanterns.

The history of Halloween is as dark and as scary a tale as those fictions told unto our childs imagination about witches, warlocks, spells, vampires, werewolves and the walking dead, perhaps even worse.

The history of Halloween is buried in secret codes and psychological symbols, but without the shadow of a doubt it has always been about how we as humans face our fears of death, destruction, starvation and survive the winter wastelands lost souls.

To Face Our Fears… To Face Our Nightmares… Confronting the darkness of our own soul with courage and curiosity in the unknown is what we can learn from the truth that is the history of Halloween.

Halloween is a part of our cultural identity and part of what makes us American, it is our heritage, a thing based on stories. What are a people without their stories? A people without stories are like buffalo grass in the wind.

This Halloween, let us learn from our history, face our fears and help the beauty of our culture survive another generation, with hope.


Posted in Halloween by admin on September 22, 2008.

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