Monday, October 31, 2011
Happy Halloween!! Do you know how it all started?
A lot of American people think the Halloween is truly a kid's American holiday. But the truth is that Halloween started many years back in another continent and it truly isn't that child friendly! As you know my husband is Scottish, so I have to tell you the true story or at least the one I was told!
The Celts started Halloween about 2,000 years ago (They used to live in what today is Scotland, Ireland, England and Northern France). On October 31st, they celebrated Samhain or the end of Summer and the beginning of Winter. With the end of Summer, came the end of all living things and on that night, ghosts of the past were allowed to come to earth for one day to visit their relatives. People will put out lanterns (made out of hollow turnips) to scare evil spirits and food to welcome their relatives souls. They would also sacrifice animals and burn crops to protect themselves from the winter months. They would wear these animal skins and heads to also scare evil spirits, these marks the beginning of dressing up for Halloween.
When the Roman's invaded the Celts, they did not like their non-catholic traditions, so they moved their All Saint's Day or All Hallow's Day to November 1st, thinking people would forget the night before and concentrate on their day. But then October 31st became All Hallow's Eve. With time that turned into Halloween!
When the Irish came to America, they took their traditions and their Halloween with them. Pumpkins were bigger and easier to hollow than turnips, so that is how we got our pumpkins. They also brought trick or treat. In the old days, the Celtic druids will wear masks and on October 31st will go around the villages and farms asking for food. If food was given, it was thought that the farmer or villager will have a year of luck and good harvest ahead. If food was not given, the druids were thought to curse the house or farm and often, a fire will start or a cow will go missing.
The lanterns were called Jack O'Lanterns to remember an Irish guy called Jack, that was not very good. He tricked the Devil several times. When he died, he was not accepted in Heaven as he was no good, and he was not accepted in Hell as he has tricked the Devil, so the Devil gave him a piece of burning coal to light up his way. He put in on a hollow turnip to light his wandering path until the end of time. Spooky ha! Now you are thinking differently about the pumpkins!! I am calling mine pumpkins, they do not belong to Jack!