A History of Halloween


A History of Halloween
A History of Halloween
Celtic Origins
Samhain: Timing & Agriculture
Life & Death; Traditions & Spirits
Christian Adaptation
Converting Celtic Cultures
All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day
Blending of Traditions
All Hallows’ Eve in Early Modern Europe
Protestant Suspicions
Puritans vs. Saints; November 5
Since When is Halloween Happy?
Catholic & Celtic Continuity
The Day of the Dead
Halloween Today
Festival of Costumes, Tricks & Treats, Jack-O’-Lanterns
Celtic Origins
Samhain (Sow-en)
The Original Halloween a Seasonal Fest
Timing & Agriculture
Oct. 31 as Summer’s End/New Year’s Eve
A Key Turning Point of the Seasons
End of the Warring Season; Time of Peace
Period of Harvest, Preparation for Winter
Communal Feasting, Drinking
Life & Death
Boundaries (Time & Space) Transitory
Celebration of Life; Understanding Death
Continuity of Agricultural Cycle
A Night or Window into the Afterlife
Stone Circle of Callanish,
Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Samhain: Traditions & Spirits
As a Harvest Festival
Bonfires, Music, Dancing
Renewal of Individual Hearths
Community-Centered Life
Sacrifice of Animals (Weakest)
Winter Freeze & Less Food
Spirits of the Dead Visiting the Living
Family Members (+)
Mischievous Ghosts (-)
Villagers Tried to Ward Off Evil
Dressing Up Like Spirits
Offer Food to Keep them Happy
Keep the House Dark, Empty
Scottish Highland Cattle, Native to the
Highlands from the 6th Cent (At Least)
Christian Adaptation (cf. Saturnalia)
Converting Celtic Cultures
British Xians, 4th Cent.; Patrick, 5th
All Saints’ Day (All Hallows)
May 13 (7th Cent), Nov. 1 (8th Cent)
To Commemorate Saints & Martyrs
All Souls’ Day, Nov. 2
Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
Blending of Traditions
Adaptation of Celtic Festival w/ Holy Day
Celts Still Celebrated Samhain Traditions
Particularly the Spiritual Aspects
From Night of the Life-Cycle to Commemorating Saints
From Harvest Fest to All Hallows’ Eve
St. Patrick
All Hallows’ Eve in Early Modern Europe
Protestant Suspicions
Hesitant to Ally w/ Catholic Saints
Day Celebrated All “True” Xians
Puritans vs. Saints
Strong Anti-Catholicism in Britain
Outlawed Several (Former) Holy Days
All Hallows’, Christmas (Boston) November 5, Guy Fawkes Night
Gunpowder Plot, Catholic Conspiracy
Catholic & Celtic Continuity
All Saints’ Day Widely Recognized (95 Theses)
Resilience of Celtic/Pagan Traditions
The Day(s) of the Dead, Nov. 1-2 (Early Aug.)
Native Ideas on Life/Death, Honoring Dead
Burning an Effigy of Fawkes
Halloween Today
Festival of Costumes
Dressing Up to Ward Off Spirits
Communing w/ Dead Relatives
Opportunity for Mischief
Tricks & Treats
Appeasing Spirits w/ Food & Drink
Cakes in Exchange for Prayers
Children Going Door-to-Door
The Story of Stingy Jack
Devilish Deal; Roaming Earth
Ember in a Turnip
Irish Immigration to U.S. in 19th Cent
Pumpkins Bigger, Available