28. October 2006, 16:14 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

It is almost time for that odd “holiday” devoted to trick or treat — Halloween. While passed over with little fanfare in most of the world, it’s big business in North America.

Halloween is a contraction of two words Hallow's Eve. All Hallow’s Eve is the evening vigil prior to the celebration of All Saints’ Day on November first in the Christian calendar. The celebration of a holiday on this day is far older however.

October thirty-first is the Celtic festival of Samhainn or summer’s end celebrating the end of the harvests and preparation for the arrival of the long cold days of winter. It therefore marks the Celtic “New Year”. As such it was originally a pagan (from the Latin paganus meaning country dweller or peasant) festival and thus condemned by the early Church.

Any connection to “tricks” and “treats” likely arises from the distribution of the last of the fresh fruits and berries that hadn’t been dried for winter, and the games and plays that were part of the celebrations.

Contrary to traditional superstition (and some fundamentalist Christian teaching), October thirty-first has nothing to do with Satan worship, devil, goblins, and witches. It is often celebrated today as a religious holiday by various neo-pagan groups such as the followers of Wicca which helps perpetuate the myth connecting Samhainn to “witches”.

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Categories: ,
Keywords: halloween,Christian,pagan,Wicca,myth,superstition,Celtic,samhain,samhuinn,harvest,holiday


Cari Burr Sun Nov 5, 05:58 PM

Well, this article is nice and dandy, but it fails to address my favorite subject: ME. And will I am posting a comment, I would like to know what happened to the basket of goodies you promised to send me. So what happened?

I am waiting …. :)


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