Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halloween Spooktacular: Orgins of Halloween


History (information courtesy of Wikipedia)

Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)".The name of the festival historically kept by the Gaels and celts in the British Isles which is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end".

Origin of name

Samhain Comments & Graphics

~Magickal Graphics~

The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556.


Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. For instance, the carving of jack-o'-lanterns springs from the souling custom of carving turnips into lanterns as a way of remembering the souls held in purgatory.The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween,but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carve than turnips. The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.

The imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula), and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein and The Mummy. Among the earliest works on the subject of Halloween is from Scottish poet John Mayne in 1780, who made note of pranks at Halloween; "What fearfu' pranks ensue!", as well as the supernatural associated with the night, "Bogies" (ghosts), influencing Robert Burns' Halloween 1785.Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.

Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, or mythical monsters. Black and orange are the holiday's traditional colors.

So that is just a bit of history on Halloween, Tell me what is your favorite part of Halloween? Do you like to be scared or is it dressing up for parties or taking your kids out for trick or treating??? Stay tuned for more goody posts as well as giveaways to come.... Don't forget to comment on all posts for extra entries for the main giveaway at the end of the month!!


June M. said...

I love Halloween! It is one of my favorite holidays. The scary movies, dressing up, candy, everything. Any holiday that is child-centered, at least partially, are my faves. Can't wait to see what goes on this month.

Rachel said...

We don't really celebrate Halloween here in Australia, but I did go to a Halloween themed party once a few years ago on Halloween. I know I loved dressing up (I went as a faerie) and I think that would be my fave aspect if we celebrated here.

Plus, I love all things supernatural and spooky so that's a plus!

LorettaLynn//Temprance said...

I love all of halloween!
Having the kids dress up and the tricker treating.Everything thats around the whole holiday.There is just something about it that draws me in and i love it:):)

Loved the post,thank you

Amy said...

I do not celebrate Halloween much now, but I enjoy visiting makeup blogs to see what Halloween looks people have created. When I was younger, I enjoyed getting candy when I went trick or treating.


Unknown said...

I love Halloween! I love dressing up, watching scary movies, and going to haunted houses.

Vivien said...

I adore Halloween. I always have such great memories. Plus, the month of October lead to beautiful colors in nature.

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Ollie said...

I think as I get older I am enjoying Halloween more. I still enjoy taking my kids out treat or treating but I find I enjoy dressing up too and joining in on the fun.

The fun of being someone or something else just for one night allows you to engage in your fantasies is quite appealing.

Thanks for this giveaway!

Ollie aka DarkBloodyVamp


Na said...

I never did do a lot of trick or treating when I was growing up. What I really love about Halloween is all the scary movies on TV especially since I love ghost stories. The original Nightmare on Elm Street and Candyman were so much scarier.

Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

Anne said...

When I was a kid, it was all about the candy..... not sure if that's changed ;-)

I do like seeing the costumes and the excitement when little kids, 9 and under, come by.

miki said...

I love the family part and even more the special session in my roleplaying club ^^ however in my country it's still not weel know shop put some decorations but no trick or treat except in some village


Unknown said...

I love the costumes! I love dressing up, but have had no place to go in recent years. So looking forward to my con being able to go trick or treating soon!

cheryl c said...

I love the fun of dressing up and decorating.
castings at mindspring dot com

donnas said...

My favorite part is seeing what all the kids dress up as each year.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Carol L. said...

When I was younger it was the dressing up and candy I loved. I agree with Ollie that dressing up and being someone else for the night has much appeal. Now I love watching all the little children dress up so excited about Halloween. GFC nae is Lucky47.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Life's Simple Pleasures said...

I think I'd love to give and receive the candy. And see how creative kids these days can be with their costumes!

reviewsbyabby at gmail dot com

Mel said...

I'm from the UK and don't remember halloween being too big when I was growing up - now I know that it wasn't big until the 1500s! :)


Texas Book Lover said...

We like to carve pumpkins as a family and take our girls out trick or treating...well probably just our youngest this year. The oldest will just be off to parties and such!

mmafsmith at gmail dot com

Denise Z said...

I have not been excited about Halloween for a very long time. I used to get very excited when my son was very young and his spirit was infectious. This year the joy is buzzing around the book blogging community and I have been treating on this fun energy and enjoying the season. Thank you so much for sharing this joy with me.


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