October 08, 2005

The Origins of Halloween


Snapshots In My Time...
Of My Time.....Hauntings.

I was searching the web for Halloween info and came upon the origins of halloween at The History Channel. Very interesting. I did not realize it started with the Celts. I had heard about the Druids.



Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

Sacred Celtic Trees

For information on Druids today: OBOD

Interesting reading about the Druids








4 comments:

  1. If your taste runs in that direction, a whole category of music also commemorates those mystical times. I only dabble there but I do find it sometimes good music to write to. Sarah McLachlan is probably the most commerical and best know. Laura Powers might be the most steeped in the tradition and actually has song named after the Sanhain Festival. Just more trivia for you.

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  2. Thanks me strauss: i do listen to various types of music from jazz to new age to celtic. i will check that out. it might be something new to add to my collection of cd's! Thanks!

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  3. Another good source of Celtic music is Runrig (www.runrig.co.uk) a band from the Western Isles of Scotland (lead singer is from Nova Scotia though!) who write a lot in English and Gaelic about that part of the world.

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  4. luz the magpie: i will check that out as well...thanks. I did go to the website and i listend to some of the clips from the albums.nice

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