Saturday, 31 October 2015

History Of Samhain

Sit back and enjoy the... History Of Halloween 

IT'S HALLOWEEN!!!! - Halloween is and always has been my favourite day of the year.
 For most people Halloween is a day/night of mischief and blaguarding but for me It's so much more. It's a day of History for me, not boring history that I don't like, but proper decent history on what has to be the most magical day of the year, a day when the dead can walk amongst the living a day filled of hocus pocus and not to mention a day of sweets!!!!!! Since I was a young child Halloween has always had some effect on me and not many people understand why we even celebrate this weird day, well in the most dummy proof way I'm about to tell you the brief story behind Samhain *cue the spooky music*

Halloween began in Celtic Ireland BC, and Halloween back then was called 'Samhain', this was a celtic celebration for summer's end. Halloween, which was held on November 1st was the one day a year where the season of life met the season of death and spirits could rise from their graves and walk amongst the living. 
As expected this would be a scary day for the celts so what did they do?
 They used to dress up, in costumes and wear masks as to confuse and rebel against the spirits the lit huge roaring bonfires in hope to scare away the spirits, which is of course where the tradition of dressing up and lighting bonfires comes from.
 Over time the name 'Samhain' was changed to 'All Hallows Eve' the night before 'All Hallows day' a day to honour all saints on November 1st and from there it was a short walk to the name we all know today..
It was during the Irish potato famine in 1800's when thousands of starving Irish fled to America that they brought their weird customs with them. This was where Halloween began to change. Halloween became a night for mischief. Young pranksters began to unhinge gates, eventually the elderly who were fed up with these blaguards decided to hold a parties for them to keep them entertained and out of trouble which is in fact where Halloween parties came from...all making sense now? ;) 
 And if you're like me and are hosting a party tonight there's this brilliant party game app I've found which you need to check out here:
Now, the Jack O'Lanterns.. this is one of my favorite parts of history, I'm obsessed with pumpkins!!! And once again, it began in Ireland. Pumpkins weren't always used to make Jack O'Lanterns, they started out using turnips. Irish legends tell the tale of a mean and stingy man named Jack. He was such an evil man that he tried to trick the devil, in the end he was so horrible that even the devil turned him away into the night only allowing Jack to carry a hollowed out turnip with a candle in it for light. Yet again as the Irish folklore was dragged across the Atlantic pumpkins were used to replace turnips and still to this day it's not Halloween without a Jack O'Lantern. 

And so the Halloween history continues, the origins of Trick Or Treating (Going on the boogie) are simple. It began when the poorest of people would go from door to door begging for food, they would be given small cakes called Soul Cakes (Smaller versions of the Bairin Breac we eat today) and in return they would pray for the dead relatives of the people. 
 And there you have it, the summed up history of Halloween.. it's seriously impressive isn't it? the history of Halloween is something which I could talk about forever and I hope it's cleared up why we're celebrating today for you!!
Happy Halloween Everyone :) 

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