Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy All Hallow's Eve

Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen,
Voices whisper in the trees, "Tonight is Halloween!"
Dexter Kozen

Growing up Catholic, I knew that Halloween was the night before All Saint's Day.  Halloween was the night were ghosts and goblins came up and haunted the earth.  We dressed up not to celebrate the day, but to confuse the ghosts.  As I became older, I learned that All Saint's Day was a Catholic holiday that was created to offset a pagan holiday, Halloween.

Out of curiousity, I did a little research.  I learned that Halloween or All Hallow's Eve was a Celtic holiday called Samhain, and pronounced sow-in, usually celebrated on October 31st, the day before the Celtic New Year, November 1st.  The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half".  The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home whilst harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. Halloween, Wikipedia

In 835, Pope Gregory IV moved the celebration for all the martyrs (later all saints) from May 13 to November 1. The night before became known as All Hallow’s Even or “holy evening.” Eventually the name was shortened to the current Halloween. On November 2, the Church celebrates All Souls Day.  The purpose of these feasts is to remember those who have died, whether they are officially recognized by the Church as saints or not. It is a celebration of the “communion of saints,” which reminds us that the Church is not bound by space or time. Halloween, Faith-filled Family

I personally never liked scary costumes, but now I understand their purpose - they were made to scare off the harmful spirits.  Many children do not realize this, so I guess it's part of my job to let them know what they are doing.  When they just thought of how horrid, gory, and scary they could look, these little demons,  witches, and vampires were warding or scaring off bad stuff, so only good stuff can happen to them.  Turn something negative into something positive - yah.

Oh, I found out that the tradition of carving pumpkins really started as the tradition of carving turnips.  The Celts would carve out the inside of turnips, and put a lighted candle in them, to ward off bad spirits.  When the Irish Catholics came to America, they found that pumpkins were a larger substitute for the turnip.  Interesting.

Easy Recipe

I know that I have used this recipe before, but it is so good, and appropriate for this time of the year.

Candy Apple Salad

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream until blended. 
Fold in 8 oz whipped topping.
Mix in 3 cups of chopped apples, and 1 cup of nuts if desired.

Fairy Tales

Will the princess' kiss turn the toad into a handsome prince?
Really, she's a lion, and he's a dinosaur.

Aunt Janet's Famous Sayings

Halloween is a children's holiday.  Being childless, coupled with the fact that I hardly get any trick or treaters and I have really good candy, it's always been a difficult holiday for me.  So, whenever one of my nieces or nephews surprise me, I always tell them "You are my favorite niece/nephew because you remembered me on Halloween, and I don't have to cry."  My nieces and nephews are aged 16 and above, so if one of them comes over for Halloween, it's special (and they want to steal all my chocolate candy)!!

Happy All Hallow's Eve,
Aunt Janet

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pin It!