Thursday, October 05, 2006

To Donna...

Yes...I jumped ahead to Solstice with little acknowledgement to the upcoming celebration known to us as Halloween...but around 2000 years ago, it was called SAMHAIM....

Samhaim was a pagan holiday to mark the end of the harvest and honor those who died during the year. Because the Celts believed the power of the sun was fading during the Samhaim, it was the perfect time to commune with the spirits.
According to legend, spirits wandered the world of the living on October 31. This was a good news, bad news situation: the dead souls could torment the living and be called upon to foretell the future. Celts also would leave out food for the visiting spirits, hoping that a “treat” would prevent a “trick.”
When Christianity swept through Europe, pagan temples were demolished, but pagans still honored the Samhain festival.
The church decided to counter the anti-Christian holiday in the sixth century with All Saints Day or All Hallows’ Evening. Halloween came to America when the Irish immigrated due to the Potato Famine.
The Reformation got tangled up in Halloween because Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Wittenburg door on October 31, 1517.
To recap, Halloween started as anything but Christian, however, the Church countered the celebration with terms like Reformation Day and All Saints Day, although, needless to say, there are more witches trick-or-treating than Martin Luthers.
Jack-o-lanterns originated from an Irish legend about a stingy drunk named Jack. Apparently, Jack upset Satan because he tried to trick Satan into throwing him an apple. After Jack died, he was locked out of heaven and Satan didn’t want him in hell.
Satan threw a hot coal at Jack, which he put in a half eaten turnip. He used a torch to wander about for the rest of eternity. When the Irish came to the U.S., they replaced the turnip carving ritual with a pumpkin.

...and a good Samhaim to all of ye pumpkin carvers out there...


At 9:35 PM, Blogger donna said...

Thanks! Very cool!

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Maya's Granny said...

Very nice. I love solstice celebrations, also equinoxes. Old calendar events are very resonant.


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