www.whyville.net Oct 31, 2002 Weekly Issue

Samhain or Halloween

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Samhain or Halloween

Theology Reporter

Samhain is probably the most known holiday throughout the world, although not many people know the true name and practices. Samhain, or Halloween as it has become known, was to the ancients a holiday to remember their family and the others who crossed over to the other side the past year.

Generally, it was celebrated any time from October 28th to November 10th. This year the true holiday will be on November 8th. It was also the beginning of the winter season and the end of autumn. The Celts knew it as their New Year, because the harvest had just been completed and all of their work was done for the next few weeks.

The Celts were very religious people who believed that on the night of Samhain the veil between the mortal world and spirit world was very thin. Thus, spirits could pass over into our world, and greet us... or bring us harm. They lit bale fires to chase off the evil spirits, and left food on their doorsteps in hopes that any dead that may want to do them harm would eat it and leave them alone, or to feed good spirits. These offerings pleased the dead, but sometimes people wanted to commune with the spirits, especially ones that they knew. They could talk to the members of their families that had passed away in the past year, inviting the spirit of their loved ones into the household, and use meditation and other tools of divination to contact them.

Another custom to keep evil spirits away was costumes. Some believed that if you looked like an evil spirit, other evil spirits wouldn't bother you. This is most likely where the costume tradition came from. The trick or treating tradition, as I've been told, comes from all the feasting and putting food out for the spirits at Samhain. Soon, as Christianity spread through Europe, Samhain became All Saint's Day and people began telling a tale of a man named Jack. You've probably heard this tale from a previous article, so I won't tell it again.

I'm sure you've all enjoyed the Hauntington House as much as I have. And now it's time for interviews on Halloween and Hauntington!

First was tw08060.

Me: Do you think Halloween is one of the most popular holidays?
tw08060: I think so, I mean everyone I know celebrates it.
Me: Have you ever heard of Samhain?
tw08060: No, what was it?
Me: It's the Celtic New Year, now known as Halloween.
tw08060: Cool, I didn't know that.
Me: So, one more question? Do you like Hauntington House?
tw08060: Yes, it's cool, but I get lost sometimes.
Me: Yea, me too. Thanks for your time.
tw08060: You're welcome.

Next, hotchik28.

Me: Do you think Halloween is one of the most popular holidays?
hotchik28: No, I like Christmas, personally.
Me: Have you ever heard of Samhain?
hotchik28: No.
Me: It's the Celtic New Year, now known as Halloween. Last question... do you like the Hauntington House?
hotchik28: Yes, I love it, I think it's great.
Me: Thanks for your time.
hotchik28: You're welcome.

Finally, I interviewed 456Sweaty.

Me: Do you think Halloween is one of the most popular holidays?
456Sweaty: Yes.
Me: Have you ever heard of Samhain?
456Sweaty: No
Me: It's the Celtic New Year, now known as Halloween So, one more question... do you like Hauntington House?
456Sweaty: Don't know!

So remember: as the light fades into the sky on Halloween, you can hear the howl of a wolf, and a shadowy figure out of the corner of your eye... flying across the moon.

as he floats into the night sky.



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