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Black_Knight 31-10-2001 01:58 AM

Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween!

For those who don't know what it is… He's a quick lesson on it

Halloween is an annual celebration, but just what is it actually a celebration of? And how did this peculiar custom originate? Is it, as some claim, a kind of demon worship? Or is it just a harmless vestige of some ancient pagan ritual? The word itself, "Halloween," actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, "All Hollows Day" (or "All Saints Day"), is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (sow-en), the Celtic New year. One story says that, on that day, the disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts believed all laws of space and time were suspended during this time, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living. Naturally, the still-living did not want to be possessed. So on the night of October 31, villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes, to make them cold and undesirable. They would then dress up in all manner of ghoulish costumes and noisily paraded around the neighborhood, being as destructive as possible in order to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to possess. Probably a better explanation of why the Celts extinguished their fires was not to discourage spirit possession, but so that all the Celtic tribes could re-light their fires from a common source, the Druidic fire that was kept burning in the Middle of Ireland, at Usinach. Some accounts tell of how the Celts would burn someone at the stake who was thought to have already been possessed, as sort of a lesson to the spirits. Other accounts of Celtic history debunk these stories as myth. The Romans adopted the Celtic practices as their own. But in the first century AD, they abandoned any practice of sacrificing of humans in favor of burning effigies.
The thrust of the practices also changed over time to become more ritualized. As belief in spirit possession waned, the practice of dressing up like hobgoblins, ghosts, and witches took on a more ceremonial role. The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840's by Irish immigrants fleeing their country's potato famine. At that time, the favorite pranks in New England included tipping over outhouses and unhinging fence gates. The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven.
The Jack-o-lantern custom probably comes from Irish folklore. As the tale is told, a man named Jack, who was notorious as a drunkard and trickster, tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, trapping the devil up the tree. Jack made a deal with the devil that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let him down the tree. According to the folk tale, after Jack died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. Instead, the devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the frigid darkness. The ember was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to keep it glowing longer. The Irish used turnips as their "Jack's lanterns" originally. But when the immigrants came to America, they found that pumpkins were far more plentiful than turnips. So the Jack-O-Lantern in America was a hollowed-out pumpkin, lit with an ember.
So, although some pagan groups, cults, and Satanists may have adopted Halloween as their favorite "holiday," the day itself did not grow out of evil practices. It grew out of the rituals of Celts celebrating a new year, and out of Medieval prayer rituals of Europeans. And today, even many churches have Halloween parties or pumpkin carving events for the kids. After all, the day itself is only as evil as one cares to make it.

© 1995-2000 by Jerry Wilson;

References: Charles Panati, Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things, 1987; and Dr. Joseph Gahagan, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Personal letter, 1997

The Day that Cos-play will live in Infimay!

Michael 31-10-2001 02:12 AM

So now the halloween day have come:devil:
HAppy HAlloween to all!!!

Black_Knight 31-10-2001 02:15 AM

And don't even try to raze my place… I got full anti-riot gear ready…-

Project Akira 31-10-2001 02:21 AM

This looks like a post for Chit-Chat!

Kawaii Miko 31-10-2001 02:23 AM

Why do you have to post it on MO BK?!? :dodgy: Can a moderator move this thread to Chit chat?!? Or do I have to create a new thread?

Kawanua the Samurai 31-10-2001 06:52 AM

Damnit stupid kids!


no one in our street does it any more

*grumbles* stupid ruined my Halloween plan

and yes this should be in Chit Chat its not really that important

AnkaraStark 31-10-2001 09:27 AM

Happy Halloween... Bah, we don't get any little trick-or-treaters here anymore. No one to scare! :bawling: *stops* Hmm... Maybe I could go hide in the bushes on another street, waiting for the perfect moment when a little TOT (trick-or-treater) walks by and leap from the bushes, screaming "BOOOOOO!!! MUAHAHAHAHHAA!!" and watch the little one run away screaming in terror from the fright I caused. :evil:

... Or I can stay home and study for tomorrow's college midterms :heh: ...

Erik 31-10-2001 10:51 AM

Ahhh,yes Halloween has arrived........I have to take my little brother around trick or treating :( ........well,I suppose it isn't that bad,but I'd much rather just sit around and hang out on the computer.

Kurai Kodomo 31-10-2001 01:25 PM


Originally posted by Kawanua the Samurai

That's what I'm talkin about. I'm going to hide around my house with my scythe(wich is real) and grim reaper costume, makin little kids ---- on themselvs.:lol:

RyuKenZ 31-10-2001 01:49 PM

I love this holiday. I put a big giant bowl of Hostess cakes and candies of all kinds on my front porch for the little scamps. Then me and a couple of my friends wait for them in the bushes of the front yard with paintball guns and garden hoses. Heres a tip kiddies...if it looks too good to be true, then it is, its an ambush so run away. Oohooh, heres another group, gotta go...

AnkaraStark 31-10-2001 01:50 PM

Ooo, may I borrow your scythe? :D scare the hell out of them when I jump from the bushes at them :lol:

AnkaraStark 31-10-2001 01:52 PM


Originally posted by RyuKenZ
I love this holiday. I put a big giant bowl of Hostess cakes and candies of all kinds on my front porch for the little scamps. Then me and a couple of my friends wait for them in the bushes of the front yard with paintball guns and garden hoses. Heres a tip kiddies...if it looks too good to be true, then it is, its an ambush so run away. Oohooh, heres another group, gotta go...

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: That is TOO PERFECT. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Bryanna 31-10-2001 02:15 PM

Ya well I am in school right now and ya, umm... I shouldn't be here *looks around and shivers*. I am in a computer class right now and Happy Halloween. We are having a costume day and I dressed up as a gothic person. He he, ya I am going to sit on my butt tonight and give out candy to trick or treaters. Also I am going to get fat on extra candy lol.

AznGamer 31-10-2001 02:23 PM

Weeeeee, Halloween, fun. I'm at school right now and I've already have some parties to attend. Yes, I'm too old to go Trick or Treating.... -_-

IcedHildaChan 31-10-2001 03:09 PM

Mu ha ha ha ah ha!
I love Halloween. It's the only time I get to go outside, act crazy and not have someone put me away. I'm too old to go trick-or-treating so I just enjoy terrorizing little kiddies...:D

*goes through her sack of halloween stuff* Hmm, pitchfork...check! Scary mask...check! Voice equalizer...check! Fake blood...check! Fluffy...*pause* Oi, wait a minute!! That's not right!


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