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MASTER OF ALL I SURVEY!
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Discussion Starter #1
:) I found a few interesting facts about our favorite holiday...

1-Halloween was originally a Celtic holiday celebrated on October 31st. It
as called The Festival of Samhain. Later it was later called All Hallows Eve
and over the years it was shortened to Halloween!

2-Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who
celebrated the harvest around bonfires, telling ghost stories, singing,
dancing, and telling fortunes! (Sounds like fun!)

3-Orange and black are the Halloween colors because orange is associated
with the fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death!

4-Halloween is the 2nd largest commercially sucessful holiday, with Christmas
being the first. People spend over 2.5 BILLION dollars on costumes,
decorations, and parties. They spend another 2 BILLION on candy!

5-Trick-or-treating originated with the Irish. Irish townsfolk would visit their
neighbors and ask for contributions of food for a feast in town. It became
as we know it now in America in the early 1900's.

6-Dressing up in costumes came the ancient celts. They thought spirits and
ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night, so they wore masks
and costumes to avoid being reconized as human!

7-Jack-o-lanterns originated in Ireland. They put candles in hollowed-out
turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts. Pumpkins were later brought back
from the new world and quickly became more popular. The name "Jack"
came from the story of a miser named Jack who died and couldn't get into
heaven because he had been a miser all his life. He had tricked the devil
out of soul and couldn't get into hell either. The devil told Jack he was
doomed to wander tthrough darkness the rest of eternity and threw a
glowing coal to light his way. Jack placed the coal in a turnip and used it
as a lantern....and the Jack-o-lantern was born.

8-SAMHAINOPHOBIA is an intense fear of Halloween! I KID YOU NOT!

Want to take a Halloween quiz? They ask you 20 questions about
Halloween. I got 14 out of 20 right. To take the quiz go to
http//www.theholidayspot.com/halloween/quiz.htm

GOOD LUCK!
 

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Just a little follow-up to No 1

Samhain is pronounced "sah-van" or "sow-in" (where "ow" rhymes with "cow").

Samhain is Irish Gaelic for the month of November.
Samhuin is Scottish Gaelic for All Hallows, Nov 1.

The Festival of Samhain was celebrated the night before on Oct 31
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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All Hallows Eve...

Hallows means holy or to respect or honor greatly; revere.

So Halloween is sort of like Christmas eve.

But better. ;)
 

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6-Dressing up in costumes came the ancient celts. They thought spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night, so they wore masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human!
Many popular histories of Halloween claim this, but I have yet to find any pre-20th century source for this.
Jack-o-lanterns originated in Ireland. They put candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts. Pumpkins were later brought back from the new world and quickly became more popular. The name "Jack" came from the story of a miser named Jack who died and couldn't get into heaven because he had been a miser all his life. He had tricked the devil out of soul and couldn't get into hell either. The devil told Jack he was doomed to wander tthrough darkness the rest of eternity and threw a glowing coal to light his way. Jack placed the coal in a turnip and used it as a lantern....and the Jack-o-lantern was born.
Not directly. The term "jack-o'-lantern" was first applied to carved vegetable lanterns in America (in 1837), not Britain or Ireland. In Britain and Ireland, from the mid-1600s to at least 1920, "jack-o'-lantern" referred only to the "will-o'-the-wisp" phenomenon. More here.
 

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Interesting! Number 5 got me thinking where it said halloween as we know it started in the early 1900's. My mom is nearly 80 and I can't remember her ever talking about TOTing as a kid. I'll have to ask her how things were back then!
 

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Resident Lunatic
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I see many of the members here have done their homework. It's interesting that a holiday that originated in another country has become so huge here in the USA. The amount of celebrating and money spent on this holiday is amazing.
 

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Interesting! Number 5 got me thinking where it said halloween as we know it started in the early 1900's. My mom is nearly 80 and I can't remember her ever talking about TOTing as a kid. I'll have to ask her how things were back then!
From Wikipedia:
Trick-or-treating may have developed in America independent of any Irish or British antecedent. There is little primary documentation of masking or costuming on Halloween — in Ireland, the UK, or America — before 1900. The earliest known reference to ritual begging on Halloween in English speaking North America occurs in 1911, when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario, near the border of upstate New York, reported that it was normal for the smaller children to go street guising (see below) on Halloween between 6 and 7 p.m., visiting shops and neighbors to be rewarded with nuts and candies for their rhymes and songs. Another isolated reference appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920. The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but do not depict trick-or-treating. Ruth Edna Kelley, in her 1919 history of the holiday, The Book of Hallowe'en, makes no mention of such a custom in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America." It does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the earliest known uses in print of the term "trick or treat" appearing in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939.
 

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Here is Australia they automatically associate Halloween with America. It drives me insane because they really don't understand or know the beginnings or history of the day. And when you tell them they look at you like you have ten heads or something because you know the history. Most of my friends here think I'm the crazy Yank, but oh well it gets them to celebrate the day and the Halloween bash we have is usually talked about at every other party through out the year!
 

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Insane Genius
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#1 is a little misleading

1.1. Yes the Celtic/pagan harvest festival was called Samhain pronounced sow-in
1.2. the Celts had no concept of October let alone 31st, the actual dates were set by lunar cycles
1.3. The Romans had a separate festival at the same time of the year called the festival of the dead where they celebrated the lives of the recently deceased, and they deliberately located it in the calendar to subjugate the Celtic festivals.
1.4. Pope Boniface IV instigated All Saints day on NOVEMBER 1st and also instigated the tradition of All Hallows eve and the idea that the lost souls of purgatory should roam the earth for 48 hours, he deliberately placed it on the calendar to subjugate teh festival of the dead AND that pesky Samhain that was still in existence!

over the centuries there have been a lot of parties with an interest in erasing and claiming credit for the end of October festivals, and consequently the truth is very hard to dissect, the only thing that's known for sure is that there are traditional festivals and that organisations with an interest in controlling the beliefs of the populous have sought to use these festivals to their own means
 

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All Saints day is big here, its a day for putting flowers on the graves of loved ones, I believe it may have been the same in the UK before Henry VIII took control of the church.
 

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I see many of the members here have done their homework. It's interesting that a holiday that originated in another country has become so huge here in the USA. The amount of celebrating and money spent on this holiday is amazing.
Ironically, Halloween isn't anything like as popular any more in its country of origin as it is in North America. :D
 

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Insane Genius
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Ironically, Halloween isn't anything like as popular any more in its country of origin as it is in North America. :D
Actually Id argue that the country of origin of modern Halloween IS North America, as the current North American tradition bears no little or no resemblance to the historical roots it claims.

The European traditions have been on the wane for the past 2000 years, and its only over the past 20 years that its enjoyed a resurgence in the UK due to the influence of the US tradition
 

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1.4. Pope Boniface IV instigated All Saints day on NOVEMBER 1st and also instigated the tradition of All Hallows eve and the idea that the lost souls of purgatory should roam the earth for 48 hours, he deliberately placed it on the calendar to subjugate teh festival of the dead AND that pesky Samhain that was still in existence
Wrong Pope. Boniface IV, circa A.D. 609, did create a holy day devoted to the Virgin Mary and all martyrs, but he placed it on 13 May. The Catholic Encyclopedia:
In the early days the Christians were accustomed to solemnize the anniversary of a martyr's death for Christ at the place of martyrdom. In the fourth century, neighbouring dioceses began to interchange feasts, to transfer relics, to divide them, and to join in a common feast; as is shown by the invitation of St. Basil of Caesarea (397) to the bishops of the province of Pontus. Frequently groups of martyrs suffered on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all. The first trace of this we find in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. We also find mention of a common day in a sermon of St. Ephrem the Syrian (373), and in the 74th homily of St. John Chrysostom (407). At first only martyrs and St. John the Baptist were honoured by a special day. Other saints were added gradually, and increased in number when a regular process of canonization was established; still, as early as 411 there is in the Chaldean Calendar a "Commemoratio Confessorum" for the Friday after Easter. In the West, Boniface IV, 13 May, 609, or 610, consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs, ordering an anniversary. Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for 1 November. A basilica of the Apostles already existed in Rome, and its dedication was annually remembered on 1 May. Gregory IV (827-844) extended the celebration on 1 November to the entire Church. The vigil [i.e. All Hallows' Even] seems to have been held as early as the feast itself.
From Wikipedia:
Pope Gregory IV standardized the date of All Saints' Day, or All Hallows' Day, on November 1 in the name of the entire Western Church in 835. As the church day began at sunset, the holiday coincided exactly with Samhain. It is claimed that the choice of date was consistent with the common practice of leaving pagan festivals and buildings intact (e.g., the Pantheon), while overlaying a Christian meaning. However, no reliable documentation indicates such a motivation in this case. While the Celts might have been content to move All Saints' Day from their own previous date of April 20, the rest of the world celebrating it on May 13, it is speculated without evidence that they were unwilling to give up their pre-existing autumn festival of the dead and continued to celebrate Samhain.
 

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Insane Genius
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Here is Australia they automatically associate Halloween with America. It drives me insane because they really don't understand or know the beginnings or history of the day. And when you tell them they look at you like you have ten heads or something because you know the history. Most of my friends here think I'm the crazy Yank, but oh well it gets them to celebrate the day and the Halloween bash we have is usually talked about at every other party through out the year!

The Australians are probably closer to the truth than most, Halloween as its currently seen is completely detached from what its supposed to be celebrating, I fully support the PoV that Halloween is an American tradition.

Druids are the same they claim to be following traditions that are millennia old, but most of them are following the fantasy of a Victorian nutcase... who claimed to be documenting such traditions, but later was found to have made it all up.... unfortunately in the space of time between his writings and unmasking a significant movement started and they are a little reluctant to accept the later evidence.
 

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The Evil Spectre
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Hate to interrupt about the history of Halloween, but the fact that I thought was misleading was the fact that Halloween is the 2nd biggest holiday next to Christmas... I believe it should be up there, but when Christmas decorations come out at the same time as Halloween, seems the retail market doesn't want to give any attention to Halloween...

Halloween needs to be given a bigger window to the retail market, and re-establish it as a separate holiday than Christmas...

just my opinion...good facts though
 
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