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Sunday, October 3, 2010

More Halloween lore

After the Romans' conquered the area, they combined their own traditions of Feralia, a late October day that commemorated the passing of the dead with the Celts' existing tradition of Samhain. Another Roman tradition was Pomona, the Roman goddess of the trees and fruit. The symbol for Pomona was an apple, thus the tradition of bobbing for apples began with the Romans.

As the spread of Christianity enveloped the land, November 1 was named All Saints' Day, a day to honor saints and martyrs, by the Catholic Church. Many believe that the Catholic pope was attempting to replace the evil within this holiday. Later, the church created All Souls' Day on November 2, in which the dead were honored.

The trick or treating tradition began with the All Souls' Day parades in England where beggars would ask for food and they would receive soul cakes for a promise to pray for that family's dead relatives. At the beginning of the 20th century, Halloween festivities began with communities urging parents to take the fright out of the celebrations.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

More Halloween lore

Halloween traditions began in modern United Kingdom, northern France and Ireland. These countries celebrated their new calendar year on November 1, a day that concluded the summer harvest period and began the dark wintertime that was directly associated with death. The Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, known as Samhain or the "Lord of Death," that the separation between the living world and the dead one wasn't apparent to the ghosts of the dead.

Throughout Samhain, these ghosts would return to the Earth. They would cause trouble and damage the harvest crops of the past season if food was not provided to them. With their presence, the Celtic priests could effectively make prophecies that were vital to the townspeople's comfort toward the dark winter ahead.

Generally, the tradition of costume wearing began at this time when many people feared the return of these ghosts. They then wore costumes, usually of animal heads or skins, or dressed in others disguises and masks to attempt to look like the dead themselves. This would help put them out of harm's way.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A little halloween lore

The Jack-O-Lantern

The legend of the Jack-O-Lantern comes from Ireland from about the 18th century. With some variations the basis of the Jack-O-Lantern is as follows:

There was a stingy drunkard of an Irishman named Jack who tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree. Then Jack quickly cut the sign of a cross into the trunk of the tree, thereby preventing the Devil from climbing down. Jack made the Devil swear that he wouldn't ever come after Jack's soul again or claim it in any way. However, this did not stop Jack from dying and when he did he was not allowed into Heaven, because of his life of drinking, being tightfisted and being deceitful. And because of the oath the Devil had taken Jack was not allowed into Hell either. "But where can I go?" asked Jack. "Back where you came from!" replied the Devil. The way back was windy and dark. The Devil, as a final gesture, threw a live coal at Jack straight from the fire of Hell. To light his way and to keep it from blowing out in the wind Jack put it in a turnip he was eating. Ever since Jack and his "lantern" has been traveling over the face of the earth looking for a place to rest.

The moral of the story: Don't mess with the devil.

Ghosts, Bats and other Halloween stuff...

Halloween is based on an ancient holiday 'All Hallows Eve'. It was the one day of the year where dead spirits were allowed to walk the earth.
Bats fingers are actually parts of its wings and their "fingers" are bigger then their body
Bats always turn left when exiting a cave
"Phasmophobia" is a fear of ghosts.
Of the 4000 species of mammals on the planet, there are 900 different species of bats.
Worldwide, bats are the most important natural enemies of night-flying insects.
9% of Americans report having been in the prescence of a ghost.
During WWII, Americans tried to train bats to drop bombs. They failed.
Wiccaphobia: Fear of witches and witchcraft.
Samhainophobia: Fear of Halloween