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All Hallow's Eve
October 30th, 2013 10:54 AM

The bewitching hour has almost arrived when many will be taking little goblins on their rounds for candy and fun.  But Halloween is also an adult holiday where everyone has the chance to masquerade, just like in the Mardi Gras.

Virtually all present Halloween traditions can be traced to the ancient Celtic Festival of Samhaim, held every October 31st, considered the Celtic New Year and day of the dead.  Halloween is a holiday of many mysterious customs, but each one has a history.  The wearing of costumes and roaming from door to door demanding treats can be traced to the Celtic period when it was thought that the souls of the dead were out and around, along with fairies, witches, and demons.  Offering of food and drink were left out to satisfy and calm them.  This practice is called mumming, from which the practice of trick-or-treating evolved.  To this day, witches, ghosts and skeleton figures of the dead are among the favorite disguises.

Halloween has retained other original customs, such as bobbing for apples, carving vegetables (pumpkins), and spicing apple cider.  In the past, many lit bonfires in honor of the dead, to aid them on their journey, and to keep them away from the living. 

Halloween was the biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year.  Today, we still carry on many of those traditions, but add more fun than seriousness to the celebrations.  So, no matter what costume, party, or event . . . . enjoy this long history of rituals on All Hallow's Eve!


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Posted by Barbara Doeringer on October 30th, 2013 10:54 AMPost a Comment

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