Halloween II

(Collector's Edition) (1981) Jamie Lee Curtis

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Halloween

(Two-Disc Special Edition) (2007) Malcolm McDowell

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DreamWorks Halloween

Double Pack (Scared Shrekless / Monsters vs Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space)

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History of Halloween

The Haunted History of Halloween (History Channel) (A&E DVD Archives) (2005)

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Return to Halloweentown

(Ultimate Secret Edition) (2006) Sara Paxton

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The Day After Halloween

(Katarina's Nightmare Theater) Sigrid Thornton

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SpongeBob SquarePants

Halloween (1999) Tom Kenny

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Halloween III

Season of the Witch (1982) Tom Atkins

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Playhouse Disney Halloween

(Just Say Boo/A Spookie Ookie Halloween) (1998) Cole Caplan

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Halloween

25 Years of Terror (2006) John Ottman

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Does anybody know the long version of Halloween History?

I need the History of Halloween. I need a lot of information so that would be nice. Thanks!

2 Responses to Does anybody know the long version of Halloween History?

  • artchic1984 says:

    Halloween is a tradition celebrated on the night of October 31, most notably by children dressing in costumes and going door-to-door collecting sweets. It is celebrated in parts of the Western world, though most commonly in the United States, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and with increasing popularity in Australia and New Zealand. Halloween originated among the Celts in Ireland, Britain and France[1] as the Pagan Celtic harvest festival, Samhain. Irish, Scots, Calan Gaeaf in Welsh and other immigrants brought versions of the traditions to North America in the 19th century. Most other Western countries have embraced Halloween as a part of American pop culture in the late 20th century.

    The term Halloween, and its older spelling Hallowe’en, is shortened from All-hallow-even, as it is the evening before "All Hallows’ Day"[2] (also known as "All Saints’ Day"). In Ireland, the name was All Hallows’ Eve (often shortened to Hallow Eve), and though seldom used today, it is still a well-accepted label. The holiday was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions, until Pope Gregory III moved the old Christian feast of All Saints Day to November 1 to give Halloween a Christian interpretation . Halloween is also called Pooky Night in some parts of Ireland, presumably named after the púca, a mischievous spirit.

    Halloween is often associated with the occult. Many European cultural traditions hold that Halloween is one of the liminal times of the year when the spiritual world can make contact with the physical world and when magic is most potent (e.g. Catalan mythology about witches, Irish tales of the Sídhe).

    Contents [hide]
    1 Halloween in various nations
    1.1 Ireland
    1.2 United Kingdom
    1.3 United States/Canada/Mexico
    1.4 Australia and New Zealand
    1.5 Bonaire
    2 Symbols
    3 Trick-or-treating and guising
    4 Games and other activities
    5 Foods
    6 Cultural history
    6.1 Halloween and All Saints’ Day
    6.2 Origin: Celtic observation of Samhain
    6.2.1 Samhain mistaken as New Year
    6.3 Norse Elven Blót
    7 Halloween traditions
    7.1 Punkie Night
    8 Religious viewpoints
    9 See also
    10 References
    11 External links

    Halloween in various nations

    Ireland

    Snap-Apple Night by Daniel Maclise portrays a Halloween party in Blarney, Ireland, in 1832. The young people on the left play various divination games about future romance, while children on the right bob for apples. A couple in the center play snap-apple with an apple skewered on tongs hanging from a string.Halloween is most popular in Ireland, where it is said to (and most likely to) have originated, also known in Irish Gaelic as "Oíche Shamhna" or "Samhain Night". The Celts celebrated Halloween as Samhain, "End of Summer," a pastoral and agricultural fire festival or feast, when the dead revisited the mortal world, and large communal bonfires would be lit to ward off evil spirits. (See Origin: Celtic observation of Samhain below.) In Ireland they continued to practice their deep-rooted, ancient pagan rites well after the arrival of Christianity in the middle of the sixth century.

    Halloween in Dublin 2003Pope Gregory IV standardized the date of All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows’ Day, on November 1 to the entire Western Church in 835. There is no primary documentation that Gregory was aware of or reacting to Samhain among the Celts in the selection of this date. Because Samhain had traditionally fallen the night before All Hallows’, it eventually became known as All Hallows’ Even’ or Hallowe’en. While Celts were happy to move their All Saints’ Day from its earlier date of the 20th of April, ("…the Felire of Oengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght prove that the early medieval churches celebrated the feast of All Saints upon 20 April.")[3] they were unwilling to give up their existing festival of the dead and continued to celebrate Samhain.

    Unfortunately, there is frustratingly little primary documentation of how Halloween was celebrated in preindustrial Ireland. Historian Nicholas Rogers has written,

    It is not always easy to track the development of Halloween in Ireland and Scotland from the mid-seventeenth century, largely because one has to trace ritual practices from [modern] folkloric evidence that do not necessarily reflect how the holiday might have changed; these rituals may not be "authentic" or "timeless" examples of preindustrial times.[4]

    On Halloween night in present-day Ireland, adults and children dress up as creatures from the underworld (ghosts, ghouls, zombies, witches, goblins), light bonfires, and (especially in Derry and Dublin) enjoy spectacular fireworks displays. The children walk around knocking on the doors of neighbours, in order to gather fruit, nuts, and sweets for the Halloween festival. Salt was once sprinkled in the hair of the children to protect against evil spirits.

    The houses are decorated by carving pumpkins or turnips into scary faces and other decorations. The traditional Halloween cake in Ireland is the barnbrack which is a fruit bread. Each member of the family gets a slice. Great interest is taken in the outcome as there is a piece of rag, a coin and a ring in each cake. If you get the rag then your financial future is doubtful. If you get the coin then you can look forward to a prosperous year. Getting the ring is a sure sign of impending romance or continued happiness.

    Children also have a week-long break from school for Halloween, and the last Monday in October is a public holiday given for Halloween even though they quite often don’t fall on the same day. See Public holidays in the Republic of Ireland.

    United Kingdom
    Scotland, having a shared Gaelic culture and language with ancient Ireland, has celebrated the festival of Samhain robustly for centuries. Robert Burns portrayed the varied customs in his poem "Hallowe’en" (1785).

    The same could not be said for most of England in the post-Roman era. The Anglo-Saxon invasions of the 5th and 6th centuries AD pushed the native Celts north and westward in Britain, to present-day Wales and Northern England, taking the festival with them. All Saints Day (All Hallows Day) became fixed on the 1st of November in 835, and All Souls Day on the 2nd of November circa 998. On All Souls Eve, families sat up, and little "soul cakes" were eaten by everyone. At the stroke of midnight there was silence with candles burning in every room to guide the souls back to visit their earthly homes and a glass of wine on the table to refresh them. The tradition continued in some areas of Northern England as late as the 1930s, with children going from door to door "souling" for cakes or money, by singing a song. The English Reformation in the 16th century de-emphasised holydays like All Hallows Day and its associated eve. With the rise of Guy Fawkes Night celebrations in 17th century England, many Hallowe’en traditions, especially the building of bonfires, were transferred to 5 November, only five days from the old. Hallowe’en celebrations in England have again become popular when in the 1980s, American families living in London reintroduced Hallowe’en traditions such as pumpkin faces (and the US trick-or-treat) uncommon in Britain and Ireland.

    Today, adults in the UK often dress up and go to fancy dress parties or pubs and clubs on Hallowe’en night.

    Some believe the black cat portends bad luck, while a white cat may be good[citation needed].

    Hallowe’en in Scotland consists chiefly of children going door to door "guising" (or "Galoshin" on the south bank of the lower Clyde) dressing up and offering entertainment of various sorts in return for gifts.

    In some parts of Yorkshire, there is a similar festival called Mischief Night which falls on the 4 November. Children do tricks on adults which range from the minor to more serious such as taking doors off their hinges on this night. The doors were also often thrown into ponds, or taken a long way away. In recent years these tricks have, in some cases, turned into severe acts of vandalism and criminal damage including street fires and destruction of private property.[5]

    Throughout the United Kingdom children carve faces or designs into pumpkins.[6] Then they place them on display in their windows to go along with the scary theme of Hallowe’en. (See article Jack-o’-lantern.)

    Witch balls are also hung up in English homes, usually by the windows or front/back door and are said to glow if a witch passes by.

    Bobbing for apples is also another English custom on Hallowe’en. Apples were put into a barrel that had been filled to the brim with water and an individual would have to catch an apple by catching them in their mouth without using their hands. Once an apple had been caught, it was traditional to peel the apple and drop the peelings into the barrel to see if the peel would spell out a letter. Whatever letter the peeling formed itself into would be the first initial of the participant’s true love.

    Other traditions include apple ducking, fireworks, recounting of ghost stories and playing games such as Hide ‘n’ Seek. Apple tarts are usually baked with a coin hidden inside, and large quantities of various types of nuts are eaten. Bolder children might also play a game called Thunder and Lightning, which involves knocking "like thunder" on a neighbours door, then running away "like lightning".

    Tradition is slowly changing, however. Many children will arrive at a door and merely exclaim, "Trick or treat", and money is given out, as well as, or in place of, sweets. Bonfires are less commonly lit for Hallowe’en in Northern Ireland these days.

    United States/Canada/Mexico
    Halloween did not become a holiday in America until the 19th century, where lingering Puritan tradition meant even Christmas was scarcely observed before the 1800s. North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th centuries make no mention of Halloween in their lists of holidays.[7] The transatlantic migration of nearly two million Irish following the Irish Potato Famine (1845–1849) brought the holiday and its customs to America. Scottish emigration from the British Isles, primarily to Canada before 1870 and to the United States thereafter, brought that country’s own version of the holiday to North America.

    When the holiday was observed in 19th-century America, it was generally in three ways. Scottish-American and Irish-American societies held dinners and balls that celebrated their heritages, with perhaps a recitation of Robert Burns’ poem "Halloween" or a telling of Irish legends, much as Columbus Day celebrations were more about Italian-American heritage than Columbus. Home parties would center around children’s activities, such as bobbing for apples and various divination games, particularly about future romance. And finally, pranks and mischief were common on Halloween.

    Commercial exploitation of Halloween in America did not begin until the 20th century. The earliest were perhaps Halloween postcards, which were most popular between 1905 and 1915, and featured hundreds of different designs.[8] Dennison Manufacturing Company, which published its first Hallowe’en catalog in 1909, and the Beistle Company were pioneers in commercially made Halloween decorations, particularly die-cut paper items.[9][10] German manufacturers specialized in Halloween figurines that were exported to America in the period between the two world wars.

    There is little primary documentation of masking or costuming on Halloween in America, or elsewhere, before 1900.[11] Mass-produced Halloween costumes did not appear in stores until the 1950s, when trick-or-treating became a fixture of the holiday, although commercially made masks were available earlier.

    In the United States, Halloween has become the sixth most profitable holiday (after Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentines Day, Easter, and FAther’s Day) for retailers.[12] In the 1990s many manufacturers began producing a larger variety of Halloween yard decorations; prior to this a majority of decorations were homemade. Some of the most popular yard decorations are jack-o’-lanterns, scarecrows, witches, orange and purple string lights, inflatable decorations such as spiders, pumpkins, mummies, vampires and other monstrous creatures, and animatronic window and door decorations. Other popular decoration are foam tombstones and gargoyles. The sale of candy and costumes are also extremely important during this time period. Halloween is marketed not just to children but also to adults. According to the National Retail Federation, the most popular Halloween costumes for adults are, in order: witch, pirate, vampire, cat, and clown.[13] On many college campuses, Halloween is a major celebration, with the Friday and Saturday nearest October 31 hosting many costume parties.

    The National Confectioners Association reported, in 2005, that 80 percent of adults planned to give out candy to trick-or-treaters,[14] and that 93 percent of children planned to go trick-or-treating.[15]

    Anoka, Minnesota, the self-proclaimed "Halloween Capital of the World," celebrates with a large civic parade. Salem, Massachusetts, also has laid claim to the title, though Salem has tried to separate itself from its history of persecuting witchcraft. Despite that, the city does see a great deal of tourism surrounding the Salem witch trials, especially around Halloween. Nearby Keene, New Hampshire, hosts the annual Pumpkin Fest each October which previously held the record for most lit jack-o’-lanterns at one time and place.

    New York City hosts the United States’ largest Halloween celebration, The Village Halloween Parade. Started by a Greenwich Village mask maker in 1973, the parade now attracts over two million spectators and participants as well as roughly four million television viewers each year. It is the largest participatory parade in the country if not the world, encouraging spectators to march in the parade as well. It is also the largest annual parade held at night.

    In many towns and cities, trick-or-treaters are welcomed by lighted porch lights. In some large or crime-ridden cities, however, trick-or-treating is discouraged, forbidden, or restricted to staged trick-or-treating events within one or more of the cities’ shopping malls, in order to prevent potential acts of violence against trick-or-treaters.

    Those living in the country may hold Halloween parties, often with a bonfire or, in some years, the older Irish custom of building two bonfires, with the celebrants passing between them. These parties usually involve games (often traditional games like bobbing for apples, searching for candy in a similar manner to Easter egg hunting, or a snipe hunt), a hayrack ride (often accompanied by a scary story and one or more masked and costumed people hiding in the dark to jump out and scare the riders), and treats (usually a bag of candy and/or homemade treats). Scary movies may also be watched. Normally, the children are picked up by their parents at pre-determined times. However, it is not uncommon for these parties to include sleepovers.

    In areas with a large Mexican population, Halloween has often merged with celebrations of "Dia De Los Muertos", the Day of the Dead. Halloween was not celebrated in England before the twentieth century.

    Australia and New Zealand
    Because Hallowe’en was not celebrated in England before the twentieth century, it did not travel to Australia and New Zealand with British colonization, but it has some recognition due to American cultural media influences. Compared to the United States, Hallowe’en is reasonably uncelebrated in Australia and New Zealand.

    Bonaire

    The children of the largest town in Bonaire all gather together on Hallowe’en day.In the island of Bonaire, all the children of a town gather together in a group, and unlike most places, instead of trick-or-treating at people’s houses, they trick-or-treat for sweets in the town shops.

    Symbols

    Jack-o’-lanterns may be carved with funny faces.The imagery surrounding Hallowe’en is largely an amalgamation of the Hallowe’en season itself, nearly a century of work from American filmmakers and graphic artists, and a rather commercialized take on the dark,diaria and mysterious. This art generally involves death, magic, or mythical monsters. Commonly-associated Hallowe’en characters include ghosts, aliens, ghouls, witches, bats, owls, crows, vultures, haunted houses, pumpkinmen, black cats, spiders, goblins, zombies, mummies, skeletons, werewolves, and demons. Particularly in America, symbolism is inspired by classic film, such as fictional figures like Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster in the vein of Boris Karloff and Alfred Hitchcock. Homes are often decorated with these symbols around Hallowe’en.

    Black and orange are the traditional colors of Hallowe’en. In modern Hallowe’en images and products, purple, green, and red are also prominent.

    The use of these colors is largely a result of advertising for the holiday that dates back for over a century. They tend to be associated with various parts of Hallowe’en’s imagery.

    COLOUR ASSOCIATIONS Colour Symbolism
    Black death, night, witches, black cats, bats, vampires
    Orange pumpkins, jack o’ lanterns, Autumn, the turning leaves, fire
    Purple night, the supernatural, mysticism
    Green goblins, monsters
    Red blood, fire, evil

    Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins and scarecrows, are also reflected in symbols of Halloween.

    The carved jack-o’-lantern, lit by a candle inside, is one of Halloween’s most prominent symbols. Although there is a tradition in the British Isles of carving a lantern from a rutabaga, mangelwurzel, or turnip, the practice was first named and associated with Halloween in North America, where the pumpkin was available, and much larger and easier to carve. Many families that celebrate Halloween carve a pumpkin into a frightening or comical face and place it on their home’s doorstep after dark.

    Trick-or-treating and guising
    Main article: Trick-or-treating
    The main event of modern US-style Halloween is trick-or-treating, in which children dress up in costume disguises and go door-to-door in their neighborhood, ringing each doorbell and yelling "trick or treat!" Although this resembles the older tradition of guising in Ireland and Scotland, ritual begging on Halloween does not appear in English-speaking America until the 20th century, and may have developed independently. The occupants of the house (who might themselves dress in a scary costume) will then hand out small candies, miniature chocolate bars, and sometimes even soda pop. Some American homes will use sound effects and fog machines to help set a spooky mood. Other house decoration themes (that are less scary) are used to entertain younger visitors. Children can often accumulate many treats on Halloween night, filling up entire pillow cases or shopping bags.

    In Ireland, great bonfires were lit throughout the breadth of the land. Young children in their guises were gladly received by the neighbors with some "fruit, apples and nuts and of course sweets" for the "Halloween Party", whilst older male siblings played innocent pranks on bewildered victims.

    In Scotland, children or guisers are more likely to recite "The sky is blue, the grass is green, may we have our Halloween" instead of "trick or treat!". They visit neighbours in groups and must impress the members of the houses they visit with a song, poem, trick, joke or dance in order to earn their treats. Traditionally, nuts, oranges, apples and dried fruit were offered, though sometimes children would also earn a small amount of cash, usually a sixpence. Very small children often take part, for whom the experience of performing can be more terrifying than the ghosts outside.

    In England, trick or treating does take place, particularly in working class neighbourhoods. On the whole, however, it is frowned upon as a form of begging and as a negative part of American global culture.

    Tricks play less of a role in modern Halloween, though Halloween night is often marked by vandalism such as soaping windows, egging houses or stringing toilet paper through trees. Before indoor plumbing was so widespread, tipping over or displacing outhouses was a popular form of intimidation. Casting flour into the faces of feared neighbors was also done once upon a time.

    Typical Halloween costumes have traditionally been monsters such as vampires, ghosts, witches, and devils. In recent years, it has become common for costumes to be based on themes other than traditional horror, such as dressing up as a character from a TV show or movie, or choosing a recognizable face from the public sphere, such as a politician (in 2004, for example, George W. Bush and John F. Kerry were both popular costumes in America). In 2001, after the September 11 attacks, for example, costumes of Islamic terrorists, firefighters, police officers, and United States military personnel became popular among children and adults. In 2004, an estimated 2.15 million children in the United States were expected to dress up as Spider-Man, the year’s most popular costume.[16]

    "’Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" has become a common sight during Halloween in North America. Started as a local event in a Philadelphia suburb in 1950, and expanded nationally in 1952, the program involves the distribution of small boxes by schools to trick-or-treaters, in which they can solicit small change donations from the houses they visit. It is estimated that children have collected more than $119 million for UNICEF since its inception. In 2006 UNICEF discontinued their Halloween collection boxes in parts of the world, citing safety and adminstrative concerns.[17]

    BIGresearch conducted a survey for the National Retail Federation in the US and found that 53.3% of consumers planned to buy a costume for Halloween 2005, spending $38.11 on average (up 10 dollars from last year). An estimate of $3.3 billion was made for the holiday spending.

    A child usually "grows out of" trick-or-treating by his or her teenage years. Trick-or-treating by teenagers is accepted, but generally discouraged with genial ribbing by those handing out candy. Teenagers and adults instead often celebrate Halloween with costume parties, bonfire parties, staying home to give out candy, listening to Halloween music, watching horror movies or scaring people.

    Games and other activities
    There are several games traditionally associated with Halloween parties. The most common is dooking or bobbing for apples, in which apples float in a tub or a large basin of water; the participants must use their teeth to remove an apple from the basin. A variant involves kneeling on a chair, holding a fork between the teeth and trying to drop the fork into an apple. Another common game involves hanging up treacle or syrup-coated scones by strings; these must be eaten without using hands while they remain attached to the string, an activity which inevitably leads to a very sticky face.

    Some games traditionally played at Halloween are forms of divination. In Puicíní (pronounced "pooch-eeny"), a game played in Ireland, a blindfolded person is seated in front of a table on which several saucers are placed. The saucers are shuffled and the seated person then chooses one by touch. The contents of the saucer determine the person’s life for the following year. A saucer containing earth means someone known to the player will die during the next year, a saucer containing water foretells travel, a coin means new wealth, a bean means poverty, etc. In 19th-century Ireland, young women placed slugs in saucers sprinkled with flour. The wriggling of the slugs and the patterns subsequently left behind on the saucers were believed to portray the faces of the women’s future spouses.

    In North America, unmarried women were frequently told that if they sat in a darkened room and gazed into a mirror on Halloween night, the face of their future husband would appear in the mirror. However, if they were destined to die before they married, a skull would appear. The custom was widespread enough to be commemorated on greeting cards from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

    The telling of ghost stories and viewing of horror films are common fixtures of Halloween parties. Television specials with a Halloween theme, usually aimed at children, are commonly aired on or before the holiday while new horror films are often released theatrically before the holiday to take advantage of the atmosphere.

    Visiting a haunted house or a dark attraction are other Halloween traditions. Notwithstanding the name, such events are not necessarily held in houses, nor are the edifices themselves necessarily regarded to possess actual ghosts. A variant of this is the haunted trail, where the public encounters supernatural-themed characters or presentations of scenes from horror films while following a trail through a heavily wooded area or field. One of the largest Halloween attractions in the U.S.A. is Knott’s Scary Farm in California, which features re-themed amusement park rides and a dozen different walkthrough mazes, plus hundreds of costumed roving performers.

    Foods

    Candy applesMain article: Poisoned candy scare
    Because the holiday comes in the wake of the annual apple harvest, Candy Apples (also known as toffee, taffy or caramel apples) are a common treat at Halloween. They are made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, and sometimes then rolling them in nuts. At one time candy apples were a common treat given to children, but this practice rapidly waned after widespread rumors that some individuals were embedding items like pins and razor blades in the apples that they would pass out to children. While there is evidence of such incidents occurring they are very rare and have never resulted in any serious injuries. Nonetheless, many parents were under the assumption that the practice was common. At the peak of this hysteria, some hospitals were offering to x-ray children’s Halloween haul at no cost in order to look for such items. Almost all of the very few Halloween candy poisoning incidents on record involved parents who poisoned their own children’s candy, while there are occasional reports of children sticking needles in their own candy (and that of other children) more in an effort to get attention than cause any harm.

    A Halloween custom which has survived unchanged to this day in Ireland is the baking (or more often nowadays the purchase) of a barmbrack (Irish "báirín breac"). This is a light fruit cake into which a plain ring is placed before baking. It is said that whoever finds this ring will find his or her true love during the following year. See also King cake

    Other foods associated with the holiday:

    candy corn
    bonfire toffee (in the UK)
    Toffee Apple (in Australia and Scotland, instead of "Candy Apples")
    hot apple cider
    roasted or popped corn
    roasted pumpkin seeds
    pumpkin pie
    "fun-sized" or individually wrapped pieces of small candy, typically in Halloween colors of orange, and brown/black.
    novelty candy shaped like skulls, pumpkins, bats, worms, etc.

    Cultural history
    Main article: History and folklore of Halloween

    Halloween and All Saints’ Day
    Pope Boniface IV established an anniversary dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the martyrs when he consecrated the Pantheon on May 13, 609 (or 610). This Christian feast day was moved to November 1 from May 13 by Pope Gregory III in the eighth century in order to mark the dedication of the All Saints Chapel in Rome — establishing November 1 as All Saints Day and October 31 as All Hallows’ Eve. Initially this change of date only applied to the diocese of Rome, but was extended to the rest of Western Christianity a century later by Pope Gregory IV in an effort to standardize liturgical worship. It was instituted by the Church to honor all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful’s celebration of saints’ feasts during the year. The concidence of two days, one Christian and one pagan, honoring the dead was fortuitous, as there is no documentation that either Gregory III or IV was aware of or responding to Samhain in the choice of date.

    The feast day of All Souls Day, celebrated to commemorate those souls condemned temporarily to Purgatory, was inaugurated by Saint Odilo of Cluny, at the time the abbott of the influential monastery at Cluny, on November 2, 998. The observation of the holy day quickly spread to monastaries under his control in France and England, and from there to the Catholic Church in general.

    Origin: Celtic observation of Samhain
    According to what can be reconstructed of the beliefs of the ancient Celts, the bright half of the year ended around November 1 or on a Moon-phase near that date, a day referred to in modern Gaelic as Samhain ("Sow-in" or alternatively "Sa-ven", meaning: End of the Summer). After the adoption of the Roman calendar with its fixed months, the date began to be celebrated independently of the Moon’s phases.

    As October 31st is the last day of the bright half of the year, the next day also meant the beginning of Winter, which the Celts often associated with human death, and with the slaughter of livestock to provide meat for the coming Winter. The Celts also believed that on October 31, the boundary separating the dead from the living became blurred. There is a rich and unusual myth system at work here; the spirit world, the residence of the "Sídhe," as well as of the dead, was accessible through burial mounds. These mounds opened at two times during the year, Samhain and Beltane, making the beginning and end of Summer highly spiritually resonant.

    The Celts’ survival during the cold harsh winters depended on the prophecies of their priests and priestesses (Druids), and the accurate prediction of how much food would be needed to sustain the people before the next harvest. They believed that the presence of spirits would aid in the ability to make predictions about the coming year.

    The exact customs observed in each Celtic region differ, but they generally involved the lighting of bonfires and the reinforcement of boundaries, across which malicious spirits might be prevented from crossing and threatening the community.

    Like most observances around this season, warmth and comfort were emphasized, indulgence was not. Stores of preserved food were needed to last through the winter, not for parties.

    Samhain mistaken as New Year
    Popular literature over the last century has given birth to the near universal assumption that Samhain and folkways of Hallowe’en, was the "Celtic New Year". Both the work of scholarly historians and Neopagan writers have begun to scrutinize this assertion. The historian Ronald Hutton, in his study of the folk calendar of the British Isles[3] points out that there are no references which attest to this usage earlier than the 18th century, neither in church nor civic records. Although it may be generally correct to refer to Samhain as "Summer’s End", this point of descent into the year’s darkness may require better proof for us to cite this "end" as also being a "beginning". On the other hand, there is a huge volume of proof of the western world, including late Celtia, as having begun their calendars either at the end of December or around March 25th at various periods back through and before Medieval times.

    Norse Elven Blót
    In the old Norse religion an event believed to occur around the same time of the year as Halloween was the álfablót (elven blót), which involved sacrifices to the elves and the blessing of food. The elves were powers connected to the ancestors, and it can be assumed that the blót related to a cult of the ancestors. The álfablót is also celebrated in the modern revival of Norse religion, Ásatrú.

    Halloween traditions
    Main article: Halloween traditions
    Halloween traditions survive most accurately on the island of Ireland, where the last Monday of October is a public holiday. All schools close for the following week for mid-term, commonly called the Halloween Break. As a result Ireland and Northern Ireland are the only countries where children never have school on Halloween and are therefore free to celebrate it in the ancient and time-honored fashion.

    The custom of trick-or-treating resembles the European custom called "souling", similar to the wassailing customs associated with Yule. On November 2, All Souls’ Day, beggars would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes" — square pieces of bread with currants. Christians would promise to say prayers on behalf of dead relatives helping the soul’s passage to heaven. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits at the Samhain.

    Further information: Puck (mythology)
    Souling died out in most areas of England by the mid-17th century, during the English Reformation. There is no evidence that souling was ever practiced in North America, and trick-or-treating seems to have evolved there independently: the earliest report of ritual begging on Halloween is from 1915, and it did not become a widespread practice until the 1930s. Ritual begging on Halloween did not appear in the British Isles until the late 20th century, and imitates the American custom.

    In Celtic parts of western Brittany, Samhain is still heralded by the baking of kornigou. Kornigou are cakes baked in the shape of antlers to commemorate the god of winter shedding his "cuckold" horns as he returns to his kingdom in the Otherworld.

    In the Isle of Man where Halloween is known as Hop-tu-Naa children carry turnips instead of pumpkins, and sing a song called Jinnie the Witch.

    Punkie Night
    "Punkie Night" is observed on the last Thursday in October in the village of Hinton St. George in the county of Somerset in England. On this night, children carry lanterns made from hollowed-out mangel-wurzels (a kind of beet; in modern days, pumpkins are used) with faces carved into them. They bring these around the village, collecting money and singing the punkie song. Punkie is derived from pumpkin or punk, meaning tinder.

    Though the custom is only attested over the last century, and the mangel-wurzel itself was introduced into English agriculture in the late 18th century, "Punkie Night" appears to be much older even than the fable that now accounts for it. The story goes that the wives of Hinton St. George went looking for their wayward husbands at the fair held nearby at Chiselborough, the last Thursday in October, but first hollowed out mangel wurzels in order to make lanterns to light their way. The drunken husbands saw the eerie lights, thought they were "goolies" (the restless spirits of children who had died before they were baptized), and fled in terror. Children carry the punkies now. The event has spread since about 1960 to the neighboring village of Chiselborough.

    Religious viewpoints
    The fact that Halloween and the old Christian feast of All Saints Day are on two consecutive days have left many modern Christians uncertain of how they should react towards this tradition.[18]

    Most Christians ascribe no doctrinal significance to Halloween, treating it as a purely secular entity devoted to celebrating imaginary spooks and handing out candy. Fr. Gabriele Amorth, the senior exorcist of Vatican City, said in an interview with London’s The Sunday Telegraph, "…if ……children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that."[19] The secular celebration of Halloween may loom larger in contemporary imagination than does All Saints Day. Some Christian churches commonly offer a fall festival or harvest-themed alternative to Halloween. Others focus on the Christian aspect of the following All Saints Day. Still other Christians hold the view that the holiday is not satanic in origin or practice and that it holds no threat to the spiritual lives of children: being taught about death and mortality actually being a valuable life lesson. To many Protestant churches, October 31 is also the date of Reformation Day, a minor religious festival and it is often used to reclaim the Christian aspects of the tradition, the All Saints Day, as a day of prayer.

    Many other Christians, especially the church leadership, consider Halloween as incompatible and even conflicting with the Christian faith,[20] due to its preoccupation with the occult in symbols, masks and costumes,[21] its origin as pagan festival of the dead,[22] and its celebration by satanists.[23] They argue that Halloween is also a prime recruiting season for satanists and therefore poses a considerable harm to children. Others are concerned about vandalism and destructive behavior after a church had become a victim of destructive "shock rituals" by satanists leading to targeted monitoring of these gatherings by the police.[24] Another argument brought forward is that according to occult Wicca practices “Halloween is one of the four major Sabbats celebrated by the modern Witch, and it is by far the most popular and important of the eight that are observed. . . Witches regard Halloween as their New Year’s Eve, celebrating it with sacred rituals. . . (Dunwich, Gerina. The Pagan Book of Halloween, p. 120). The opinion which rejects Halloween because it trivialises the realities of ‘evil’ and ‘the occult’ is shared by some Christians across all denominations. Some Evangelical and Protestant Churches, and some Jews and Muslims, strongly object to the tradition and refuse to allow their children to participate, pointing out to its pagan origins as well as what they consider its satanic imagery.[25]

    The ways how Christian churches deal with Halloween are various. Most Catholic parishes see no harm, and Catholic parochial schools in America typically have Halloween costume parties. Some bishops take active steps in order to focus on the positive messages of All Saints Day, the day following ‘All Hallows’ Eve’.[21] [26] Another response among Christians in recent years has been the use of Hell houses or themed pamphlets (such as those of Jack T. Chick) which attempt to make use of Halloween as an opportunity for evangelism [27]

    Objections to celebrating Halloween are not limited to those of the Abrahamic religions. Some members of the Wiccan practice feel that the tradition is offensive to real witches for promoting a stereotypical caricature of a witch.[28] Additionally, many Wiccans and other neo-Pagan adherents object to Halloween as a vulgarized, commercialized mockery of the original Samhain rituals which are traditionally celebrated at October 31.

    See also
    Fakelore

    References
    ^ Kelley, Ruth Edna (1919). The Book of Hallowe’en, Chapter XI: In Brittany and France:
    Gaul, as we have seen from Caesar’s account, had been one of the chief seats of Druidical belief. The religious center was Carnutes, now Chartrain. The rites of sacrifice survived in the same forms as in the British Isles. In the fields of Deux-Sevres fires were built of stubble, ferns, leaves, and thorns, and the people danced about them and burned nuts in them. On St. John’s Day animals were burned in the fires to secure the cattle from disease. This was continued down into the seventeenth century.
    The pagan belief that lasted the longest in Brittany, and is by no means dead yet, was the cult of the dead. Caesar said that the Celts of Gaul traced their ancestry from the god of death, whom he called Dispater. Now figures of l’Ankou, a skeleton armed with a spear, can be seen in most villages of Brittany.
    ^ Simpson, John, Weiner, Edmund (1989). Oxford English Dictionary, second, London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-861186-2.
    ^ a b Hutton, Ronald (1996). Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. New York: Oxford Paperbacks. ISBN 0-19-285-448-8.
    ^ Rogers, Nicholas (2002). Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. New York: Oxford University Press, 41. ISBN 0-19-514691-3.
    ^ "Mischief Night causes havoc across county", BBC, 2002-11-05. Retrieved on 2006-09-14.
    ^ "Pumpkin passions", BBC, 2005-10-31. Retrieved on 2006-09-27.
    ^ Rogers, p. 49.
    ^ Anderson, Richard (2000). Antique Halloween Postcards and E-cards (HTML). shaktiweb.com. Retrieved on 2006-09-14.
    ^ Dawn Kroma; Lou Kroma (n.d.). Beistle: An American Halloween Giant (HTML). Spookshows.com. Retrieved on 2006-09-14.
    ^ Ledenbach, Mark B. (n.d.). A Brief History of Halloween Collectibles (HTML). halloweencollector.com. Retrieved on 2006-09-14.
    ^ Skal, David J. (2002). Death Makes a Holiday: A Cultural History of Halloween. New York: Bloomsbury, 34. ISBN 1-58234-230-X.
    ^ Mikkelson, Barbara and David P.. "Halloween Loot.", 2006-10-29. Retrieved on 2006-10-29.
    ^ 2006 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. Washington, DC: The National Retail Federation.
    ^ Trick-or-treaters can expect Mom or Dad’s favorites in their bags this year. National Confectioners Association (2005). Retrieved on 2006-09-14.
    ^ Fun Facts: Halloween. National Confectioners Association (2005). Retrieved on 2006-09-14.
    ^ Tolley, Ellen, Krugman, Scott. "Good Triumphs over Evil for Most Popular Halloween Costume", National Retail Federation, 2004-10-04. Retrieved on 2006-09-14.
    ^ Beauchemin, Genevieve, CTV.ca News Staff. "UNICEF to end Halloween ‘orange box’ program", CTV, 2006-05-31. Retrieved on 2006-10-29.
    ^ Should Christians celebrate Halloween? (HTML). http://www.answers2prayer.org (n.d.). Retrieved on 2006-10-22.
    ^ Brandreth, Gyles (2000-10-29). ‘The Devil is gaining ground’ (HTML). The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved on 2006-10-26.
    ^ Halloween origins and customs (HTML). “” (n.d.). Retrieved on 2006-10-22.
    ^ a b Bishop challenges supermarkets to lighten up Halloween (HTML). http://www.manchester.anglican.org (n.d.). Retrieved on 2006-10-22.
    ^ Philips, Phil [1987]. Halloween and Satanism. 091498411X.
    ^ Satan group heads our way (HTML). http://www.news.com.au/ (n.d.). Retrieved on 2006-10-22.
    ^ Satanists promise "shock rituals" in Brisbane (HTML). http://www.cathnews.com (n.d.). Retrieved on 2006-10-22.
    ^ Examples of anti-Halloween Christian literature include Halloween: Satan’s New Year (2006) by Billye Dymally, Halloween: Counterfeit Holy Day (2005) by Kele Gershom, and Halloween: What’s a Christian to Do? (1998) by Steve Russo. An opposing viewpoint is found in The Magic Eightball Test: A Christian Defense of Halloween and All Things Spooky (2006) by Lint Hatcher.
    ^ Halloween and All Saints Day (HTML). newadvent.org (n.d.). Retrieved on 2006-10-22.
    ^ Salem ‘Saint Fest’ restores Christian message to Halloween (HTML). http://www.rcab.org (n.d.). Retrieved on 2006-10-22.
    ^ Reece, Kevin. "School District Bans Halloween", KOMO News, 2004-10-24. Retrieved on 2006-09-14.

    External links
    Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
    Category:HalloweenThe history of Halloween
    Scary Places
    National Retail Foundation statistics on Halloween
    Halloween Puzzles and Worksheets for Teachers
    Live Gnosticweb TV/Radio Interviews in USA with Mark H. Pritchard about Halloween, October 2006
    Halloween – Various Christian views of the holiday
    Halloween: Origins and Customs An in-depth study on the origins of Halloween
    Christian alternatives – Christian churches’ alternatives to traditional Halloween festivities
    Halloween’s Occult Connection by David L. Brown, Th.M.
    U. S. Census facts about Halloween in the United States

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