Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

" Boo ! "

My research on the origins of Halloween
revealed some pretty interesting stuff.

The Celts first started celebrating the end of summer and their harvest and the beginning of the dark cold winter with the festival of Samhain. Their new year was celebrated on November 1. In this era, 2000+ years ago, winter was also associated with death and the Celts believed that on October 31 ghosts and spirits returned to earth making it possible for the Celtic priests, Druids, to make predictions about the future. During the festival the Druids built giant bonfires to make sacrifices, and the Celts wore costumes, then took the flames from the bonfires home to start their fires for the winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory (Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France) and over the next approx. 400 years several festivals were combined with Samhain. Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead, and a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. It is believed that "bobbing" for apples is related to the Pomona addition.

By the 800s, Christianity had spread into Celtic lands and in the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. The celebration was also called “All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween."

For Halloween,
the brothers headed outside and soon

found some pumpkins and gourds.

Vladi was a bit scared of them,...

but Tanji showed him there was nothing to fear,...

Soon, Vladi was off, and

caught his own white (blue-ish) pumpkin.

Back inside,

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