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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.