Hallowe’en: Faith and Fun. Did you know?. Hallowe’en dates back to the ancient Celtic celebration of New Year’s Eve called the Samhain (This means ‘Summer’s End’ in Irish) which marked the onset of Winter.
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Hallowe’en dates back to the ancient Celtic celebration of New Year’s Eve called the Samhain(This means ‘Summer’s End’ in Irish) which marked the onset of Winter.
The phrase Trick or Treat also originates from the Ancient Celts who believed that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Hallowe’en night. The people wore costumes and masks to avoid being recognised as humans.
Legend has it that Jack O’Lantern was a man who sold his soul to the devil, and thus could not get into Heaven.
Spookier still, it is said he roams the Earth to this day, with a turnip carved into a lantern and the fire of hell burns within!
In the previous slide we learned that Jack O’Lanterns were originally carved from turnips. When the Irish arrived in America, they had to use pumpkins instead of turnips. It is clear that America then embraced the idea as it now generates an estimated $6b spending spree in the US annually at this time of year.
Trick or Treat is also believed to have come from the practice of ‘souling’; this was when poor people went from door to door begging for food, in particular, ‘soul cakes’ (barm brack) in exchange for them saying prayers for the souls of the dead.
By 800 AD, Christianity was well established in Ireland and the feast of All Saints’ Day was fixed to take place on November 1st. Around this time it came to be that All Souls’ Day proceeded this and was celebrated on October 31st (Hallowe’en – Hallowed Eve).
Orange = Represents Harvest and Autumn
Black = Death and Darkness
The banshee is a female spirit in Irishfolklore, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the other world.
In legend, a banshee is a fairy woman who begins to wail if someone is about to die. In Scottish Gaelic Mythology, she is known as the bean sith or bean-nighe and is seen washing the bloodstained clothes or armour of those who are about to die.
Vampires are associated with Hallowe’en. Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person/being. ‘Dracula’ is a famous character who features in a story based on a Count who lived in Translyvania, written by the Irish author, Bram Stoker.
On October 31st, it’s important to remember that the day/night is not just about dressing up in frightful costumes and eating sweets. As it is All Souls’ Day we remember those who have died belonging to us and those who may have no one left to pray for them. We can go to Mass and light a candle for them to honour their memory.
On November 1st, we celebrate All Saints’ Day. We can pray to the Saints whilst at Mass and show our gratitude as we remember that they intercede for us all the time.
ETERNAL REST GRANT UNTO THEM, O LORD, AND MAY PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.
MAY THEY REST IN PEACE. AMEN.
This time of year is all about FAITH and FUN!!