HALLOWE’EN. OÍCHE SHAMHNA. P.O’SHEA. ‘ Samhain’ is the old Irish word which means the end of summer. It marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of the cold, dark, winter season. Origins Of Hallowe’en.
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‘Samhain’ is the old Irish word which means the end of summer. It marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of the cold, dark, winter season.
Samhain was seen as a time when the \'door\' to the otherworld opened enough for the souls of the dead and other beings to come into our world. The souls of the dead were said to revisit their homes on Samhain.
Hallowe’enis also thought to have been influenced by theChristian holy day of ’All Saint’s Day’ This was the 1st of November (also known as All Hallows Evening). ‘’Hallow’ is an old English word for holy. ’Eve’ is short for evening. ‘All Hallow’s Eve gives us ‘Hallowe’en’ - A time for praying for all the dead.
Because it was believed that ghosts etc could come back to visit the earth on Hallowe’en, people started to disguise themselves so that they wouldn’t be recognised. This led to one of the customs of the season, dressing up and disguising oneself. Nowadays people buy costumes.
When children dress up they go around from house to house. This is called ‘Trick or Treating’. They ask for a small treat and if they don’t get it they will play a trick on the people at the door. Treats used to be fruit, nuts and apples. Now they are sweets and crisps.
At home, people play different games. One of these is ‘bobbing for apples’, where apples are floating in a bowl of water and children have to catch them in their mouths, but their hands are tied behind their backs. Try it……it’s difficult.
In Ireland, one of the special things we eat at Hallowe’en is Barm Brack. This is a fruit bread. In the cake is a ring or, sometimes, a coin. If you find the ring it means you will get married within the year!!.
In America, people celebrate Hallowe’en in a big way. When Irish emigrants went to America in the 19th century they brought Hallowe’en and the customs with them. Americans adapted the customs and made them their own.