Halloween’s Historical Origins
How numerous of us truly know the indicating behind Halloween? Most of us delight in Halloween, that is with the exception of a handful of Religious Zealots who believe that it truly is devilish, and potentially also a number of overly concerned moms. Halloween has been celebrated in another way, at different occasions and diverse locations. Its lore is almost as diverse as the costumes that you see parading all over on Halloween night. But Halloween has normally been a little bit of a mystery, and stuffed with contrariness and revelry, a required launch of social rigidity.
Halloween is so significantly enjoyment, that we practically neglect it is really a holiday break (Holy-Working day). At the very least the Christian Evangelists have, who claim that it is evil and demonic. The founder of the Christian Coalition, Reverend Pat Robertson even went so far as to get in touch with it a ‘satanic ritual’ and did his utmost to have it banned in 1982. He entirely disregarded the actuality that Halloween is most unquestionably a Christian Holiday and 1 of the most crucial kinds at that.
It has been celebrated by the Christian Church for about fourteen hundred yrs, and is one of the 6 holy days of observance, when large mass is held. Sunday is also one of the 6 holy times of observance!
You likely know that Halloween is the ‘All Saints Day’ of the Christian earth. Correspondingly, the next working day of November 2nd, is ‘All Souls Day’. This juxtaposition of times is meant to insure that the Heavenly Saints will seem after the souls of the dearly departed. Halloween or ‘Hallowtide’, as it was the moment known, was not generally observed on the 1st of November, but a considerably more mature festival was.
Halloween inherited some of its supernatural taste, and the tradition of bonfires from this historic pageant but amazingly very little else. Most of the customs we celebrate nowadays, this sort of as sporting costumes and trick-or-dealing with, originated in Medieval times.
Halloween and the Pre-historic Celts
Envision what it would be like if you could vacation again in time, to a time extended ahead of Halloween was celebrated on the cobbled streets of Medieval Europe. Our time equipment may perhaps not be capable to transport you bodily, but it will transport your intellect again in time, to explore the historical pageant that Halloween eventually replaced.
It is into the pre-historic environment of the Celtic tribes that our journey will take us, and this is where by it gets a tiny difficult, simply because the Celts failed to use producing. Julius Caesar tells us that, ‘They take into account it improper to entrust their scientific studies to writing’. The myths, history and custom of the Celts, had been orally recounted, and handed on by the Druidic bards, who sang their sagas at festive gatherings.
“These sagas ended up aspect of a extensive vernacular custom that was prepared down hundreds of years later, probably in corrupted and abbreviated form. These stories ought to be browse as clues to the mystery of historic lore and to the art of storytelling, fairly than as straightforward proof of social follow.”1
The Celtic tribes were being the fiercest enemies of Rome, and sacked it on 4 events. Yet, substantially of what we know about the Celtic society was created by the Romans. What do you assume your enemies would generate about you? What the Roman’s did compose, was typically crammed with horrifying tales and pernicious propaganda. As exemplified by the Hollywood film, Wicker Guy, which was loosely based mostly on Roman accounts of the Celtic celebration of Halloween, their Sahmain.
The most responsible source for us to comprehend the mysterious lifestyle of the Celts, is by way of their stone age monuments and gold and silver artifacts. Even with our time machine, it is a seemingly not possible task to day the line that divides pre-historic Europe from Celtic Europe, or certainly to tell if this kind of a line even exists. All that we can know with any surety is that the obscure origins of the Celtic tribes lays somewhere amongst 34,000 several years back, the age of Ireland’s previous mound of New Grange, and 3300 BC, marking the very first building of Stonehenge.
From Julius Caesar, we also understand that the Celts had been divided into aristocratic tribes. They lived in circular residences and formed cozy communities ruled by king like chieftains. We also know that their famous festivals were being held in huge rectangular halls. Some individuals consider that these had been an early prototype of the Medieval Cathedral.
The Celtic Sagas tell us that they have been a mystic Lifestyle. Like Halloween alone, the Celts existed between the very true environment of every day practicalities and an enchanted environment, filled with fairies, fey and supernatural feats. They lived their fearless life with fantastic zeal and fervour. The Celtic gals were being the most liberated gals in the historical environment. They savored sexual equality and fought aspect by side with their adult males in fight.
The males fought with out outfits or armour. Can you envision what they will have to have appeared like? Their naked bodies would have been a terrifying sight. The men had been fully shaven except for a moustache, and a wild mane of hair highlighted with powdered limestone. As you may well have observed in Mel Gibson’s motion picture ‘Brave Heart’, some of the men even dyed their bodies blue and wore amulets and huge torcs around their necks.
Halloween and the Historic Pageant of Samhain
1000’s upon hundreds of several years in advance of the dawn of the Christianity, around the 1st of November, the Celtic tribes celebrated what has turn out to be Halloween. It was their Harvest Festival of Samhain (pronounced ‘sow-win’). The Celtic calendar of festivals was primarily based on cycles of mother nature and the agricultural year. They celebrated the Solstices and Equinoxes, as effectively as the Cross-Quarters in among – Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain. 2
The 8 spoked wheel of the Celtic 12 months, perpetually turns on and on. At every single of its eight details, the pure rhythms of the seasons, of our individual life, of our communities and of the heavens, arrive into alignment. Like mother nature itself “men and women are moved by the rhythms of the earth, its tides of ebb and flow, induced by the cycles of the sunlight and moon. While the moon magnetically controls the waters, the sunshine controls the seasons. With the withdrawal of the sun’s mild, warmth and electrical power, like character by itself, we mechanically draw our energies inwards in order to maintain daily life”.
The Celtic Halloween – Samhain, marked the commencing of the sun’s journey into the wintery underworld. The harvest was reaped, the fields lay fallow, the livestock was ritually culled and its meat salted and smoked in readiness for the coming chilly. The agricultural calendar year had appear to its conclusion, and on Samhain, the Celtic New 12 months would commence.
Daylight is the summer months of the seasons although nighttime corresponds to the wintertime. The line that divides working day and evening is at it’s thinnest at twilight, at dawn and dusk. Samhain was the dusk of the seasons, when the solar of the outdated yr handed absent and entered into the underworld. It was the twilight year, when the veil that separates the planet of the dwelling from that of the lifeless and supernatural, is at its thinnest. So slender that cracks open concerning the worlds, permitting fairies, ghosts and other supernatural beings to enter the dwelling world.
Samhain was a time of supernatural depth, when an huge amount of religious vitality poured into the entire world. It was a time when divinations have been done to see what the coming calendar year experienced in keep. It was a time of purification and a time of magic and ritual to appease the lifeless.
In Celtic mythology, Samhain was the working day when the tribal god, the Dadha, created like with Morrigan, the raven goddess of war. You may well know of Morrigan mainly because in later on ages she performed the position of the evil sorceress in the legend of King Arthur.
Soon after our quick journey again in time, some of you may well be contemplating, that even if Halloween isn’t really Satanic, then Samhain positive sounds like it could be. To place the subject to rest as soon as and for all, there is no way it could be. There is no corresponding god, angel, or any totally evil remaining in the Celtic pantheon. In closing, I will as soon as yet again estimate from Nicholas Rogers’ incredible e book, ‘Halloween – From Pagan Ritual To Social gathering Night’-
“The perception is satanic cults blossomed only in the late medieval period when it fashioned component of the persecutory discourse against heretics and witches – extensive soon after the demise of Samhain.”4
1. Rogers Nicholas, ‘Halloween – From Pagan Ritual To Social gathering Night’, Pg 18, Oxford College Press
2. The Cross-Quarter festivals of the Celtic calendar.
A) Imbolc, the spring festival was celebrated on the 1st of February.
B) Beltane, the summer time festival was celebrated on the 1st of Might.
C) Lughnasadh, the autumn pageant was celebrated on the 1st of August.
D) Samhain, the wintertime competition, like our Halloween, was celebrated on the eve of October 31st and the 1st of November.
3. Paterson Jacqueline, ‘Tree Wisdom’, Pg 83, Thorsons – Harper and Collins
4. Rogers Nicholas, ‘Halloween – From Pagan Ritual To Party Night’, Pg 13