The date of many ancient festivals centred on the first of the month,
for example May Day, and Llamas on the 1st of August. However, our
ancestors showed advanced thinking in starting the celebrations at
midnight. It was not long that they hit upon an even better plan,
and that was to start the revelry on the evening before the main
festival. Samhain, a Celtic festival to
celebrate the new year on the 1st of November, was particularly susceptible to
starting on the eve, that is 31st of October.
With the spread of Christianity in the first millennium, Church leaders emphasised
the importance of All Saints day on the 1st of November. This date was also known as All Hallows and gradually, the name for the night before All Hallows changed to hallow's eve, then hallow e'en
and finally Halloween.
**Samhain - In
medieval English 'mh' was pronounced 'w', hence: Sow-en.
See more on the History and
Origins of Halloween
Funny Halloween Shorts
A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween. -
'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn
and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.' - William
Hold on, man. We don't go anywhere with "scary," "spooky,"
"haunted," or "forbidden" in the title. - Scooby-Doo
They that are born on Halloween shall see more than other folk. -
Anon. [Will and his wife both were born on Halloween]
As I was going up the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there
wasn't there again today...
Oh, how I wish he'd go away.
Double, double toil and trouble , Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.-
There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people:
religion, politics and the "Great Pumpkin." - Linus [Charlie Brown]
Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. -
On Halloween, the parents sent their kids out looking like me. -
For 2011 Halloween the the most popular mask is the Arnold
Schwarzenegger mask. And the best part? With a mouth full of candy you
will sound just like him. - Conan O'Brien
One for luck: What does a hungry ghost want? Ice scream.
Witches and Halloween
What separates the Halloween witch from sister wicce is her broomstick. In pagan festivals the
broomstick is associated with cleansing and initiation rituals. It is easy to see how flying could enter the Halloween picture, because this is a time when the spirits were coming down to earth, and also the
living were high from eating magic mushrooms and other hallucinogenic potions. And of course her caldron was handy for witches to brew up spells to control those who offended her; take Shakespeare's Macbeth and the three
witches famous refrain: 'Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble'.
See more on witches at Halloween
The Cost of Halloween
These raw numbers be-fuddle Will and Guy, however we understand the big
picture well enough. At Halloween people spend most on candy and
sweets, followed by costumes. We were surprised that the amount spent
on decor has doubled. This is not due to a dramatic rise in the cost
of a pumpkin, more that people are buying battery powered accessories that scream or
Candy ($2.1 billion)
Costumes ($1.6 billion)
Halloween decor ($0.7 billion)
It shows what we know, at first we thought these figures were million,
when it turned out on close inspection they were in BILLIONS of dollars.
While Americans spend an average of $72 on Halloween, they spend
more on merchandise for Christmas, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day and Easter.
I also find it hard to believe, that even sales for Father's Day cards and
gifts outstrip those of
One theme that runs through Halloween, is pure fun and self-indulgence.
You don't have to buy presents for friends and relatives, you just by
'stuff' for yourself.
Trick or Treat
There is no doubt that 'Trick or Treat' has very old roots dating back to the pagan customs surrounding Samhain. Related customs include wassailing and souling, indeed, in its original form the idea
was that the recipients of barnbrack cakes would pray for the souls of the relatives who gave them the 'treat'.
As with many customs Trick and Treat waxed and waned. During my childhood in the UK of the 1950s and
1960s, I don't remember any organized 'Trick and Treating'. What seems to have happened is that it has been re-introduced into the UK from America in the 1990s. These days parents are so paranoid about their
children being out after dark and alone, that they now supervise their children's Trick or Treat from the shadows of the nearest lamppost.
Catholic areas in general, and Ireland in particular, favour Trick and
Treat, whereas Protestant heartlands celebrate the gunpowder plot on November the 5th. My point is that this season, Halloween / November the 5th is great time for celebrations based around bonfires and
fireworks. And 'Trick or Treat' is a great ruse to stock up on food ready for the cold night's festivities. See more on
Halloween trick or treat.
Halloween 2011 Postage Stamps
See more Halloween stamps
Dates of the Four Fire Festivals
1st Nov Samhain - Nos Galen-Gaeaf in Welsh
In ancient times the
celebration of any festival started the night before, hence Halloween is the evening of 31st October.
2nd Feb Candlemas - Oimelc in Irish. Celebration of
Spring / 40 days since the nativity.
1st May Beltane - May Day
1st Aug LammasLughnasadh in Gaelic, celebrates the start of the harvest
Please send us your events for Halloween 2013
See more dates for 2013. Also check the day of the week
for these festivals:
• Chinese New Year 2013
• Valentine's Day 2013
• Tour de France 2012
• Halloween 2013
• Shrove Tuesday 2012 •
Thanksgiving 2013 •
Christmas 2013 •
Valentine's Day 2013
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