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Author Topic: Halloween  (Read 6939 times)
runlola
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« on: October 25, 2005, 22:58:10 »

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James S
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2005, 01:42:40 »

What's the expression? "So narrow minded they could look through a keyhole with both eyes."

I bet that church never once bothered to have a look at the true origin of Halloween / Samhain.

Funny that the church never finds offence with Easter, aka the Spring Equinox!

 :dont-know:
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2005, 01:42:40 »

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Leyla
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2005, 02:07:47 »

Even Christmas is a pagan holiday.

Were is the "Christmas is the Devils Holiday" movement?
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2005, 02:54:03 »

Makes sense that Day of the Dead is recognized in Mexico.
Goes back to the common Celtic / Gallic / Iberian observance of Samhain - the end of summer & beginning of a new cycle, honoring that which has passed and looking to that which is new.

Now here's something interesting that I found on the subject of Day of the Dead / Samhain from the History Channel web site:
Quote
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....

...By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.


So Halloween is of christian origin!

There's one in the eye for this pack of pious fools!

 smiley
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2005, 02:34:41 »

The thing is, there really are no Christian holidays--only Christian interpretations of pre-Christian holidays!  smiley  Some Christians understand this, but so many American Christians don't know the first thing about Christian history, or history in general (I'm still appalled by how many think Catholicism is a separate religion from Christianity, but that's its own story). rolleyes

Personally, I think Halloween has left behind its roots.  Not completely, but I can't help but think it's become pretty vulgar when I walk down the Halloween aisle and see really tacky decorations and very gory images.  
But to each their own... I prefer the dignity and joyfulness of All Souls/All Saints, Dia de los Muertos, and Samhain... the cleaned, decorated graves, the festive altars, the prayers and gifts, the candles.

And, I was born on All Saints!  When I was in Catholic school, I always got the day off! :mrgreen:
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2005, 02:34:41 »



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greatoutdoors
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2005, 19:09:58 »

AMM,

My birthday is on Halloween, or All Saints Eve, I guess.  When I was a kid I used to think it was pretty neat that all those people I didn't even know were helping celebrate my birthday -- pretty good self-image back then!  grin
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2005, 19:34:04 »

my sisters birthday is on halloween.

yall seem to have something against christianity, why? many "followers" of christianity don't know anything about it and have corupted it over the years, but you seem to have something against the religion and not the interpritations that people place on it.
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2005, 19:45:49 »

Moogle_assassin,

I have nothing against Christianity, though some on this forum do. I have noticed that the "cult" of Christian-bashing seems to have become almost a religion itself. If you don't share their beliefs you are open to attack; the flip side of the same coin they complain about. Go figure.  smiley
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2005, 01:09:27 »

greatoutdoors & moogle_assassin (love your name, btw!),  I know soooo many people who are born between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2!  It's weird!

Being a practicing Christian, it gets on my nerves that people (in general, not just here) are so quick to judge me and lump me together with all Christians or so-called "Christians."  More often than not, it is these so-called "Christians" that give me a hard time for being Catholic.  And I despise it when people like the anti-Halloween crowd can't just mind their own damn business and think they have the right and responsibility to police others.  So... I can usually empathize with people who have had bad experiences, and have less-than-charitable opinions of Christianity--nonetheless I don't let them give me any excrement either!

I find that in many metaphysics forums (again, not just here), people have a big problem with religion on the whole.  And they have a right to that opinion, of course.  But they also shouldn't judge others.  For me, religion and metaphysics fit together just fine, just as religion and science do.  

Truly, Astral Pulse is by far the most respectful and tolerant community I've ever visited. :mrgreen:
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2005, 01:26:47 »

I've never been fond of organized religions of any flavour, but I've  nothing against people following a religion when they've a heart of love.

What I am against is narrow minded, hateful bigotry.

Hateful bigotry... is that a tautology??
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2005, 12:24:20 »

We do Halloweens party at my home, since 11 years ago...its very funny, with lots of music and monstruous decoration Smiley

If someone of my neighbours (to damn catholic) dares to say something about it....well, i will be sorry for him Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2005, 21:31:49 »

Quote from: Leyla
Even Christmas is a pagan holiday.

Were is the "Christmas is the Devils Holiday" movement?


How 'bout we start one just for fun.
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2005, 03:34:21 »

I think it is very sad when people can't leave other people in peace, and especially in their own home, to celebrate whatever festival they wish.  Why can't we all just respect each other??   cry
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2005, 18:24:15 »

Some extra info on Samhain/Halloween:

The Irish pronounciation is 'SOW-en'. In Scottish Gaelic it is pronounced 'SAV-en'.

Now called Halloween, the festival has always been, and continues to be, a very popular festival in Ireland and Scotland, where it goes way back, originating in the Celtic new year.

Irish and Scottish immigrants took the festival with them when they went to the US, and changed to using pumpkins as they were much easier to hollow out than the old practice of using turnips and cabbages.

Up until recently here in Scotland, people were still using turnips but now the american takeover of halloween has resulted in pumpkins becoming the main choice here too, although many die-hards (including myself) still adhere to the turnip lantern even if it is damn hard work!

The spooky lantern is used to scare off evil spirits who may be abroad on this night.

large fires were lit in local neighbourhoods on this night, and continue to be. This practice was to see in the celtic new year and the transition from summer to winter; sacrifices may be thrown on the fire, including a manikin, called the 'Guy'. In recent centuries, in Britain, this old practice was usurped by the november 5th bonfire celebration which reflects an attempt to blow up the houses of parliament in london. However, it should be obvious to most people that this is just a thin disguise to excuse the continued practice of a much older festival.

However the practice of having the fire on november 5th instead of october 31st is now common practice in Scotland, although this is fine as it actually serves to extend the Halloween/Samhain festival.

Halloween is now becoming increasingly popular in England, although mainly through the adoption of the vulgarised American version, which is sadly also threatening the traditional Irish and Scottish practices.

For example, in Scotland up until recently people did not 'trick or treat'.
Rather the practice, called 'guising', involved children dressing up and going round doors and performing songs in the hope of getting some money. There was no implied threat involved. However, due to the influence of the Americanised version, many children have stopped the traditional practices of singing songs and now simply 'trick or treat', which is nothing short of blackmail!

There is a greater move to preserve the more traditional practices these days however, but it remains to be seen if it will be possible to turn the tide!

Doug
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James S
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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2005, 22:55:02 »

Ahhh.. praise be to the Celtic historian among us!

Thanks Gandalf. I was hoping you'd add something to this discussion.

 smiley
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« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2005, 00:01:39 »

James S_

Haha thank you, but although I AM a historian, my speciality is more Greco-Roman history rather than celtic but I am familiar with some of it.

What amazes me is the complete sh*t some so called 'history' programs and shows come out with, and programs that aught to know better.

For example, I was prompted to write about Halloween here after I read some nonsense from the History Channel about 'the origins of Halloween'.
I should have known better as the History channel is renowned for its dodgy grasp of facts.
In this particular example they claimed that Halloween 'originated' in Ireland. Er, no. Actually it 'originated' in a celtic festival which was widespread throughout celtic peoples throughout north west europe and Britain AND Ireland.

The festival became christianised but continued to be popular in England, Scotland and Ireland until the 16th century, when it dropped out of favour in England but *continued* to be popular in Ireland, Scotland and indeed Wales, all the more 'celtic' areas in fact. This popularity continues to the present day. During the 19th century, Scottish and Irish immigrants took their traditions over to America were it really took off, particularly with the Irish in the New york area.
Halloween continues to be popular here in Scotland, Wales and Ireland and more recently, in England, the later  via the re-introduction of the Americanised version. (although I should point out that in some areas of England, the festival has always continued to be popular)

I guess I just got annoyed to hear the History Channel come out with crud that halloween originated Ireland, when I know for a fact, after growing up in Scotland that it has always been a strong tradition here too.
There are a whole list of other gaffs the 'History' Channel has made in the past although I won't bore people with listing them here, although sometimes they make some good programs too, when they get their facts right.

Doug
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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2005, 01:12:48 »

HI Doug,
I perhaps should have referred to you as our historically learned Celt.  smiley

Quote

In this particular example they claimed that Halloween 'originated' in Ireland....

Hang on, I thought All Hallows Eve was instituted by Pope Boniface IV! So he was Irish was he?
Well there's one in the eye for 99% of the historians!  shocked

Lets see how we can work this one through (just so the History Channel doesn't have to think too much).
If what I've read is correct, Boniface was Italian born, but descended from Spanish nobility. So, if we say that he was Iberian, which can tie him in with the Spanish Celts, and many Scotts and Irish were of Iberian origins (my own clan McFarlan from my mother's side were originally Spanish). So now we have Boniface connected with the Irish. There you go! Halloween was instituted by the Irish!
Simple!
 grin

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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2005, 18:56:13 »

Thanks for sharing, Gandalf!  I love to learn about Celtic culture!  I'm part Irish (Co. Roscommon) and Scottish (clan Campbell) myself! :mrgreen:

I agree it's injust to give the Irish all the credit... people (or at least Americans) tend to forget that Celts were an immense group of people all over Europe.

Anyway, I think I might try to make a turnip lantern next year! :mrgreen:  I generally just use plain candles, or else make little tin can lanterns.  

I love bonfires!  When I went to university in New Orleans, they always had bonfires around Halloween and Christmas--it was always so festive!  Being that there were tons of Irish immigrants there, I guess the tradition might have been started by them... I'll have to read up on that.  Anyway, it's such a cool experience, and very unique in America.
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:sunny:  Heather B.
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« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2005, 18:51:10 »

Hi! Yeah do try to make a turnip lantern for next year. Then you will know that you have made a truly traditional Irish & Scottish halloween lantern. It is a lot harder work but IMO looks far better; in fact they can sometimes look much more grotesque hehe.

A turnip lantern also lasts a lot longer too, unlike mushy pumpkins and is sturdy enough to be suspended from string like a true lantern if required. This is good if you want to indulge in a bit of traditional 'guising', as often guisers walk around carrying the lantern via a string, as they go door to door in their halloween costumes, singing songs or doing other improvised entertainments in return for money, fruit or candy. (NO 'trick or treat' nonsence lol...  thats the lazy approach imv!).

Doug
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« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2005, 19:01:18 »

I think that would be great fun!!!  Do adults do the guising thing?  Here, only younger children go trick-or-treating.  In some places I've lived, teens and adults aren't allowed to even be out on the streets, unless they're accompanying children, because of the fear of mischief and crime! rolleyes  That should be the first sign that something is very wrong... *sigh*
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:sunny:  Heather B.
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« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2005, 00:29:24 »

yeah, I have to say, its only really the pre-teens who actually go guising.

Doug
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« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2006, 22:52:06 »

Its funny that christians find it so easy to celebrate life. But death (not evil) which we must all face in fear (mainly because of christianity by the way) is ignored. Easter on the other hand is a celebration of the reserection for christians. It may have some pagan tradition mixed in but in the end its for the christians.
Halloween actually is to if we could just put an end to the linear thinking of the church they would not have to live in so much fear of death. Ive tried many times to join christian forums but with little luck. No matter how polite and easy going i try to be with explaining, it seems there just to brainwashed. Its a pity that through christianity all but them are WRONG.
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