Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween night came...

And Halloween night came. With face paint, black torn leggings, witches hats, hair coloring spray, cute vampires, lit up front doors in the dark. There were many excited children in groups to be found on the roads of my village, Trick & Treating with bags and baskets eagerly raised to the owner in each door. It was a perfect night, not to cold (like last year brrrrr....), no rain and just perfectly pitch dark.

I gave away a lot of candy to many dead skulls, witches, ghosts and skeletons. My children came home with smudged out make up and heavy bags of sweets, overly excited to have been spending over time outside on the dark streets. Commercial or not, the kids love this event. And after yesterday's post many of you have asked for a follow up to find out more about the history of Halloween. It has come to my attention that we actually are celebrating 2 different events on the same day, and therefor the confusion of what is the right way to acknowledge this event. A religious holiday has merged with an Irish harvest party tradition and it all happens to become a big fiesta. I have chosen to quote one of my readers who shared her wonderful story of what Halloween origins from:

"I fully agree that we should remember our history, and for me Halloween is part of my history. I'm Irish and I've always known this festival. When I was young we collected nuts and apples along the houses although nowadays even Irish kids get overloaded with sweets.

Halloween is originally the end of the Celtic year - the festival of Samhain. It was a combination of a harvest festival and party. It was believed by the Celts that at that time of year the spirit world was close by. They disguised themselves in order to scare away the spirits.

Halloween for me growing up was a family party - we ate mashed potatoes and kale. Whoever found the coin hidden in the dinner would be rich that year. We ate barmbrack (a fruit bread) containing a ring and other things. If you got the ring in your slice, it meant you would get married that year. We played games including bobbing for apples.

Due to the large number of Scottish and Irish emigrants to America over the years, the tradition moved over there, the turnip lanterns became pumpkins, and the family party became a commercial horror festival.

All Saints Day is celebrated in Ireland on 1st November and most people observe each day differently.

I no longer live in Ireland, but I do try to continue the Halloween traditions with my kids in the form of a family event which is part of their Celtic heritage."
Written by Anonymous on this blog post.

After many emails and comments on the subject (read more in the comments on this blog post for more excellent information about Halloween and All Saints Day) I have realized that there are many different views of Halloween. Depending on your religion, or no religion, your nationality or even generation - there are many different explanations to be found. I truly hope you had a wonderfully spooky and dear Halloween.


PS That moon picture is not at all my own... How I wish we had a moon like that last night. :)

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  1. Looks like a very fun night! Lots of costume clad children here too braving the high winds and rain, but fun was had anyway. :)

  2. I'm Northern Irish, and while I didn't realize that there was a Celtic connection, a lot of what anonymous said rings true. In England we have Halloween on the 31st then Bonfire Night on Nov 5th (Guy Fawkes). Back home we only had Halloween, and we did apple bobbing, ate apples off string suspended in doorways - no hands allowed, a coin was hidden in an apple pie, always great excitement to see who got it in their piece! We had turnip lanterns -much harder to scoop out than pumpkins. And English people call them swedes. All very confusing! Now I take my (English) children trick-or-treating, and so that has become our family's tradition.

  3. Looks like the chirldren had lots of fun.
    Clare xx

  4. How wonderful, halloween is such fun, my kids enjoy it too.


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