o MeU eU e Os OuTrOs EuS (eL mEu Jo I eLs AlTrEs JoS)

outubro 31, 2006

Halloween: The Darkest Night Of the Year

Taken from Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page:

"Halloween is a tradition celebrated on the night of October 31, most notably by children dressing in costumes and going door-to-door collecting sweets, fruit, and other treats. It is celebrated in parts of the Western world, most commonly in the United States, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and with increasing popularity in Australia, New Zealand, as well as the Philippines. In recent years, Halloween is also celebrated in parts of Western Europe, such as Belgium and France.

Halloween originated as a Pagan festival among the Celts of Ireland and Great Britain with Irish, Scots, Welsh and other immigrants transporting versions of the tradition to North America in the 19th century. Most other Western countries have embraced Halloween as a part of American pop culture in the late 20th century.

The term Halloween, and its older spelling Hallowe'en, is shortened from All-hallow-evening, as it is the evening before "All Hallows' Day"[1] (also known as "All Saints' Day"). The holiday was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions, until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints Day to November 1. In Ireland, the name was All Hallows' Eve (often shortened to Hallow Eve), and though seldom used today, it is still a well-accepted label.

The festival is also known as Samhain or Oíche Shamhna to the Irish, Calan Gaeaf to the Welsh, Allantide to the Cornish and Hop-tu-Naa to the Manx. Halloween is also called Pooky Night in some parts of Ireland, presumably named after the púca, a mischievous spirit.Many European cultural traditions hold that Halloween is one of the liminal times of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world and when magic is most potent (e.g. Catalan mythology about witches, Irish tales of the Sídhe).

Samhain is the word for November in the Irish language. The Scottish Gaelic spelling is Samhuinn. The same word was used for a month in the Celtic calendar, in particular the first three nights of this month, with the festival marking the end of the summer season and the end of the harvest. A modernized version of this festival continues today in some of the traditions of the Christian All Souls' Day, the secular Halloween, and in folk practices of Samhain itself in the Celtic Nations and the Irish and Scottish diasporas. The name is also used for one of the sabbat feasts in the Wiccan wheel of the year."

Taken from Bewitchingways http://www.bewitchingways.com/wicca/year.htm:

"Samhain (Sow-win, Oct. 31), Witches' New Year, marks the death of the God and his the arrival in the Land of Youth, where he opens the gates so the souls can revisit their loved ones. It is said to be the day when the walls between the worlds are to be the thinnest and when contact with one's ancestors can tack place. It is celebrated with the Festival of the Dead. This is a time of reflection on the year and a celebration of our ancestors."

Taken from Calendar Mine http://www.calendarmine.com/Holidays/American_Halloween.asp:

"Jack-o-lanterns, a hallowed out pumpkin with a face carved on it and lit by a candle, are very popular on Halloween. The name Jack-o´-lantern comes from an old Irish legend. Jack was a sneaky, miserly old man. When he died, he was not welcome in heaven because he was so miserly. Neither was he allowed into Hell, because he had played so many tricks on the devil. Jack was condemned to walk the earth with a lantern made from a pumpkin until judgement day.

Modern Halloween has its roots in the Ancient Celtic Festival of Sanhaim, the Lord of Death. It was held on the evening before the Celtic New Year, November 1. The Celts believed on New Year's Eve, the Lord Sanhaim allows the souls of the dead to walk the earth. If you dressed up in costumes to look like the dead, the spirits would bypass you and not make any trouble. During Festival of Sanhaim, Druid priests would build a large community bonfire to ward off evil spirits. The fire was made from sacred oak branches. Each family would light their hearth from the sacred bonfire. This would provide a blessing for the coming year."