Halloween is next week! Sure, not everyone really appreciates this “holiday”, but if you look up the history and some facts, it really is kind of fascinating how it came to be. And I’d like to take a moment to share a little of that history with you.
You see, this day dates way back thousands of years to the festival of Samhain which was an ancient Celtic festival. Not really much is known about this festival (during those times, no one really took many notes ????) but it is known that it marked the close of the harvest season and the beginning of winter.
The Celtics believed during that time that the “curtain” between the living and the dead was very thin, hence “things” could happen such as loved ones making an appearance and being able to interact with the living. Spooky, I know!
The observance would include slaughtering cattle and burning their bones in “bonefires”. That word eventually became bonfires.
The actual custom of Halloween is believed to have Irish origins – in Ireland during the potato famine they would go door-to-door asking for money or cake which would be offered to dead relatives. If it resulted in a failure to provide either, a practical joke was normally performed on the homeowner.
And in case you’re really curious at this point, the first recorded Halloween in the US took place in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921.
Of course there are historical factors on jack-o-lanterns and many other Halloween traditions that we’re just not going to touch on. But this really is an interesting topic if you’d ever like to look it up!
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