Sunday, October 11, 2009

Eallra Hālgena ǣfen means "All Hallow' Evening"

After watching the movie Trick 'R Treat, which actually scared the crap out of ME by the way, I decided to write about Halloween, and the original reasons for some of our favorite Halloween traditions. It's fun! Yes I am Mormon and christian, but I do not find anything about Halloween to be harmful. It is a night of fun! These are things I have learned over the years, or have since studied up on. Hey, I love scary so the reasons behind THE day for scary are fascinating! *Halloween is the shortened name for All Hallow's Eve. The Celtic's called it Samhain [pronounced: sow- wen]. *Halloween was a time of games, and rituals involved in methods of fortune telling whereby young people endeavoured to determine their marital prospects through such omens as apple pairings thrown over the shoulder, or nuts burned in a fire. Even one where a unmarried woman looks into a mirror in a dark room, and the face of her future husband is supposed to appear. If a skull appears, they would die before having a chance to get married. *Though some as I am sure you have heard about, did not treat it with such light regards in terms of Trick or Treat. "The Druids went from castle to castle demanding a ‘treat’, however, this demand was for a young woman who could be offered as a human sacrifice in a Satanic ritual. The Druids were known as men of Oak and they demanded blood sacrifices. These men were so controlled by Satanic forces that they had strange and frightening powers. If the ‘treat’ (the young woman) pleased the Druids, they would light a candle made of human fat and insert it in a Jack-O-Lantern to protect those inside the castle from being killed by demons. When some of the families could not meet the demands of the Druids then it was time for a ‘trick’. A hexagram was drawn on the front door of the dwelling, and it was said that Satan or his demons would kill someone in the household through fear that night. The spellbinding beat of the druid music would fill the night as the ceremony began. The men would assault their victim and then brutally sacrifice her to their gods."

*Halloween is believed to be the one day where the boundary between the living and the dead is disolved. Ghosts, demons, ghouls, are free to roam our world and do as they wish, which includes harming us. At midnight they will be driven back to whatever shadows they belong in, to their respective worlds.

*We think dressing up for Halloween is something made up in modern times to make it a fun celebration, but the reasons for needing to dress up are much darker. On Halloween night, if you are dressed up as scary creatures / ghouls / etc. ,the idea is that if the real ones saw you, they would be fooled and leave you be. The idea was that ghosts don't go around scaring each other, so if you looked like one of them you would be relatively safe from their antics.
*Orange and Black are the traditional Halloween colors. Orange symbolizes fall, turning leaves, the harvest, fire, and jack-o'-lanterns. Black symbolizes death, evil, the ancient Celtic dark half of the year, night, witches, black cats, bats, and vampires. * Something we don't practice much in the US is the Bonfire. The Halloween tradition of the bonfire in Ireland is said to also have originated during Pagan times when the Celts lit huge fires on the hills so the spirits of loved ones could find their way. It was also said that these fires would help to keep away evil spirits. Another old Irish Halloween tale says that if you drop a strand of your hair into the flames and dream of your future husband or wife to be, you're dreams will come true. *The Jack O'Lantern was originally carved from a turnip. Yup, seriously. The pumpkin only came along once the tradition was brought to the US by Irish immigrants, and gradually, as US influence has increased, the turnip as been replaced in Ireland by the pumpkin.

*Some say you must not let your Jack O'Lanterns go out, as they are protectio
n from the spirits and demons. And if you BLOW one out or kick one over, you had better run, because you are in serious trouble!

*The story associated with the creation of the Jack O' Lantern is this: "A gambling drunkard named Jack stumbled home from a night of drinking and debauchery at a local tavern. The Devil appeared and demanded Jack come to Hell with him because of his Evil ways. Jack convinced the Devil to climb a nearby tree to pick an apple. As the Devil climbed the tree, Jack carved a cross in the tree's trunk thereby preventing the Devil from coming back down. The Devil demanded that Jack release him. Jack said he would if the Devil promised to never admit him to Hell. The Devil agreed. When Jack died he was too sinful to be allowed into Heaven, but the Devil would not let him into Hell, so Jack carved out one of his turnips, put a candle inside it, and began endlessly wandering the Earth looking for a place where he could find eternal rest."

*The Poisoned Candy Scare is something I am now, after the movie, once again afraid of and I will check out the candy if I have any kids. Anyway, it was a nation-wide panic in the 70's and 80's. People fear needles, razor blades and poison could be in their children's candy.
Although there have been many reportings of poisoned candy, only a few have been found to be true. One wasn't even poisoning. In 1964, an annoyed NY housewife gave children she considered too old to be Trick R Treating bags of steel wool, buttons, dog biscuits, etc. She was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to child endangermant, though no children were in fact hurt. In 2008, candy was found with metal shavings and metal blades embedded in it. The candy was Pokémon Valentine's Day lollipops purchased from a Dollar Store, but they were manufactured in China and not the US and they were all pulled after a mother reported a blade in her child's pop. All were confiscated in schools also. The one case known that is it really happened was in 1974. A 8 year old boy from Pasadena, Texas died after eating a cyanide-laced pack of Pixie Sticks. The police investigation eventually discovered the boy's FATHER was the culprit. He had wanted the insurance money, and attempted to cover it up, by giving out poisoned candy to other children He was executed in 1984. As recently as 2004, some hospitals still offered to let parents bring in their candy to be x-rayed. Which sounds great, but posion doesn't show up in x-rays. I am just saying! But my point is, the one case is the only one ever found to be true, so Parents? Relax and just through away unwrapped candy. The dear old lady down the street probably was just being sweet wrapping them up in bags with bows, but better safe than sorry. Just say thank you and when you get home, chuck it. That is what my parents did. Cute treat bags with candy corn and stuff that was free? GONE. My parents rocked! *The tradition of giving out candy on Halloween stemmed from people putting food on their doorstep to appease the spirits which would then safeguard their home. Food to candy? Brilliant idea!!

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5 meaningful meanderings:

The Boob Nazi said...

That was interesting. Thanks!

Sheri said...

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.... hehehehehe

TeeTee said...

I love Halloween.
I just need to decide what to dress up as.

Brandi said...

Interesting. I actually have that movie, but have never watched it...

clan of the cave hair said...

we LOVE Halloween. I think its at least partly because for a short time we have permission to express the darker part of ourselves. We don't go all out, but we dream of doing so!

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