Monday, October 30, 2006

Roots of Halloween

From the site Answers.com, the roots of Halloween come from three basic events:

Samhain. The Celts of modern-day Ireland and the UK two and a half millennia ago braced themselves for winter with this festival, which is pronounced "sowen," literally means "summer's end" and falls on November 1. It heralds the beginning of the dark, cold half of the year. (Its counterpart was Beltane, which kicked off the warm, light half of the year on May 1.) The harvest was gathered in to protect against the wintry blast of the faeries' breath, and Samhain was an occasion for thanksgiving, sacrifices, divination and prayers. In each home the hearth-fire was extinguished the night before and relit on Samhain from the central bonfires of the priestly Druids.

Pomona. She is the Roman goddess of fruit trees and the symbol of abundance. There was a festival dedicated to her worship at the end of autumn, around the time of the big harvest. When the Romans arrived in Britain, in the first century, they melded their customs with those of the Celts whom they conquered.

Feralia. This is the ancient Roman festival of the dead, which was held on February 21 with prayers and sacrifices on behalf of the deceased. The customs of this day were also blended by the Romans with those of Samhain. Feralia was superseded in the Christian Church by All Saints Day, also known as All Hallow's Day or Hallowmas, observed on May 13. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III changed the date to November 1 (though it is still marked in springtime, on the Sunday after Pentecost, by the Eastern Orthodox Church). All Saint's Day was followed by All Soul's Day, established by Saint Odilo of Cluny on November 2 to remember the souls awaiting release from Purgatory. Halloween is a contraction for "Hallow's even" — the evening of All Hallow's Day, i.e., October 31.

The first city to officially celebrate Halloween was Anoka, Minnesota, in 1921.

So, describe for the class your most memorable Halloween or fall tradition. Even if you don't believe in the whole dress-up and get candy part of it, is there something that you or your family does that indicates the end of fall and the beginning of winter?

Ex. Because we did not live in a subdivision, we had to plot our Halloween trick or treat route. There were lots of older people in our church who gave away fruit and baked goods. I would always hit those houses first. I also learned that it was important to spend time chatting with the older people rather than just getting the stash and heading back to the car. Eventually, I would make it to a few other houses before the porch lights began to go out. My parents made sure that we also made pound cakes and took them to widows and widowers in our church during Christmas holidays. I got that time to chat with them again. Since I did not have any living grandparents, I inhereted a large group of "adopted grandparents" through these experiences of taking a little time to talk with them and learn about them.

29 comments:

AllenK5 said...

My most memorable Halloween experience was last year on the day before Halloween. I killed a deer, yay for killing deer! That doesn't really have any real significance but Halloween is the time of year when the deer really start moving. It's a great little time dude. Kinda hyuge.

RyanL5 said...

To me halloween has always just been dressing up and getting candy. I have never really done anything special. We just follow the usual tradition. I will say though that i continue to follow that tradition even though im getting to old for it. You cant beat free candy!!

chriso5 said...

The only real fall tradition I have is going trick-or-treating. I used to love to do it when I was little. Then I got to an age where I was too cool to go trick-or-treating. Now that I'm in high school again, however, I enjoy cavorting around the neighborhood in my costume. I also enjoy watching scary movies around Halloween.

MattL5 said...

My most memorable Halloween moment was in elementary school when we would put a big bowl of candy out on the porch then wait for the kids to come grab all the candy and then pop out of the upstairs windows with paintball guns and waterballoons and abuse the kids for trying to take all the candy.

AshleyB5 said...

My family really doesnt do anything real drastic. My mom is a huge fan of passing out candy to the treak or treaters and she also throws a small halloween party. Our house is decorated with items that are more of a fall/winter shade versus the colorful summer items.

Hunterlh5 said...

living on a busy street, our family would start in one direction and hit four or five streets till our pillow cases were half full. we would swing back by our house and hang out for 15 to 20 minutes and wait on trick or treaters. we would get our legs back then head the opposite way down the street. we would get home around nine and sit up and watch a scary movie while we ate our bags full of candy. this is what i think of when halloween comes to our mind.

AllieB1 said...

In my neighborhood, there is a man that goes all out for Halloween. He buys toys, king size candy bars, and every type of candy imaginable. When you go to his house to trick or treat, he lets you pick two things. My friends and I would go to his house a couple of times but we would rotate costumes so that he wouldn't remember us. That was my favorite thing about halloween!

MeredithA3 said...

My favorite fall tradition my family has is our Thanksgiving dinner.During the morning of, my mom makes the turkey and my sister, my mom and I watch the Macy's day parade. Then, for dinner, we eat at one of my aunt and uncle's house and have a huge feast. Thanksgiving dinner would seem very peaceful, but not for my family. With 10 grandchildren (ages from 19 to 5) and 14 adults, Thanksgiving dinner can be one crazy night. My favorite part of this night is the food. Since one of my aunt's is a chef, 2 other aunts that are fabulous cooks, and my mom who can't cook worth anything, but makes a mean turkey, Thanksgiving food is bound to be amazing. This tradition has been going on ever since I can remember.

thomasd said...

My favorite Holloween was when I was in the 9th grade and i went rolling and egging for about six hours with all my classmates. We dressed in complete black and spent almost $100 dollars on toilet paper. We ran from the cops for jsut about the whole night. We started the night with around 15 people. By the time we were ready to go home, we only had six guys, the cops had the rest. Out of all the rollers, we were the only group to not loose everyone. We were all to young to drive, so we walked, and had nothing to really worry about. We were just being young.

chuckw7 said...

I definitely have a very memorable Halloween experience. It was in 8th grade I dressed up as "Farmer John" and took one of the goats from my farm. I have never seen so many strange expressions on peoples face. I went around Crestline Village and one crazy person let the goat into the house and drink out of the toilet. All the little kids wanted to pet my goat and asked what its name was as if its a dog. The best thing was the amount of candy I received. That was a great time.

GingerC1 said...

My favorite Halloween tradition is the neighborhood Halloween parties. My sister and I would be so excited to get our face painted and bob for apples. My dad would drive the kids around in our tralier for a spooky surprise. I thought it was great! We would always invite a friend to go trick or treating with us and would spend about two hours running from house to house. We would come back to my house and count and see who had the most candy. It was always so much fun as well as a competition.

laceys7 said...

I think my favorite memories of Fall come from carving pumpkins. Each year, a few nights before Halloween, my brother and I would get our pumpkins and choose our designs as my dad cleaned them out. It was always nice, because at the end, we felt very accomplished in our works and had a good evening with the family.

DavidW3 said...

A fall tradition that I have is having people over for Halloween and going trick or treating. We would go to almost all of the houses in the neighborhood looking for the please take one bowls. They were usually filled to the top and we would snatch the whole thing. That way you dont have to get as much because you already have all the candy you need. Halloween is a fun holiday that I like to celebrate.

GuerryF1 said...

I have never really done much on Halloween. We dont get kids coming to our house for candy so my house is boring. But when i was younger we had to go into crestline to get candy which was always fun.

MaryEvelynP3 said...

My most memorable halloween tradition is the "hay rides" my childhood neighborhood took every halloween night. We would all pile on to our neighbor's trailor and sit on hay bails. By the time I was 7 or 8 I we knew exactly where to stop and trick or treat. There were certain houses on our street that gave entire, regular sized candy bars, and that was exciting. I also remember staying up way to late that night, every halloween. Probably has to do with the enormous amount of sugar i consumed in the prior 24 hours.

JimW3 said...

The only memory of halloween I have is a bad one. I was very little but the memory will always be with me. It had rained that night and the stairs to houses were slick and so were the roads. I was walking up really steep stairs to this persons front door. I had almost reached the top when I lost my balance because the stairs were wet. I fell all the way down this huge flight of brick stairs and scraped my butt really bad. I couldn't walk right for a few days after that.

FrankB3 said...

I don't really have memorable halloween. My family and I occasionally carved a pumpkin out and dressed up. Trick or Treating was cool while it lasted. Too Bad I'll probably would get arrested for trick or treating this. My mom starts putting out christmas lights and thanksgiving decorations to indicate the end of fall and beginning of winter.

StuartS5th said...

My family doesn't do much for Halloween. Of course, I went trick-or-treating when I was little, but now it's been more of helping my parents decorate and going to halloween parties. Actually this Halloween I was charged with the task of carving a pumpkin. This was the first time I had to do it, and maybe it will be a new thing every halloween.

MaryaliceL1 said...

My family and friends take halloween pretty seriously. Every year we have a competition with all the people in our neighborhood to see who can collect the most candy. Sometimes the numbers get up to 12 and 13 pounds of candy! That is our Halloween tradition...

merrittb5 said...

I never really got into the whole Halloween thing when i was a kid. I never really dressed up. The most memorable thing for me was sitting out in the bushes in front of my house like 2-3 years ago and just waiting for these kids that i knew were gonna roll or tee-pee or whatever you wanna call it. I wait with a cap gun that I bought and some fire crackers and just waited on my roof. It was a little bit past midnight when they arrived. I waited for them to get ready and as soon as the first person came back to throw I threw like five fire crackers and shot my cap gun. I have never seen anybody run as fast as those kids were running. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen.

gordonw7 said...

My most memorable halloween was in probably 3rd or 4th grade. I trick or treated for about 5 hrs and filled about 3 pillowcases full of candy. Took me about 2 months to eat all the candy i got it was awesome.

BrookingP5 said...

I vividly remember the Halloweens when my whole family went out tirck - or treating together. I specifically remember my brother and I competing to see who could get the most candy. One year, he beat me by a lot and I couldn't figure out why until I learned that he had an extra bag for his "sick cousin who was at home." I remember being really upset. Those years were fun.

natalies7 said...

My most memorable Halloween tradition is carving pumpkins. We started doing it when I was little, and now it is something my family looks forward to. Another tradition is trick-or-treating. It is always so much fun to dress up and run around the neighborhood getting candy. Even though I don't really trick-or-treat anymore, it is still fun to be with friends.

RyanH5 said...

Halloween, to me, means trick or treating around the neighborhood. Though I don't do this anymore, I remember what it was like, and its fun. I like watching Scary movies around this time of the year also. A lot of horror movies come out in theaters in October, and thats entertaining.

tonycr1 said...

The most memorable moment from halloween would have to be when I was 6 years old and it was getting to be late. And the houses were starting to run out of candy and this one house we went to had just ran out when we got there and I was dressed up as a pirate and when the man didnt give me any candy i smacked him with my sword and he thought it was funny so I just kept hitting him till he walked off and found a sucker for me.

CamilleCo5 said...

We don't really have any fall traditions. Our family does always carves the pumpkin together one night. Other than that, when we were little we would always go trick-or-treat in the neighborhoods where they gave out the big candy bars. Now we usually go to other Halloween parties because our street is deserted and there are not many kids to give candy to.

Brooke L. said...

my mother is a cook so evry year for our family,she makes this really good tomato soup and she makes spider shaped rolls with poppy seeds on them to make them black and in the soup she takes this white cream and with a toothpick shapes a web into the soup its awesome and i cant imagine halloween without it yo

Brooke L. said...

my mother is a cook so evry year for our family,she makes this really good tomato soup and she makes spider shaped rolls with poppy seeds on them to make them black and in the soup she takes this white cream and with a toothpick shapes a web into the soup its awesome and i cant imagine halloween without it yo

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