Monday, October 24, 2011

~~HALLOWEEN ~~ ORIGINS ~~ POEM








The Following is a poem I wrote for the occasion.


HALLOWEEN MAGIC



The trees undress as their leafs decorate the skirt of Mother Earth. Their bare branches seemed to come alive with the moon in the background. Parents and children seem to be stirring a potion  in a large black caldron. For one night everyone can be freely whoever they want by masking their face and wearing clothing they would never think of on any other day. On this night spirits and ghosts are your friends as you as you go guising together down the streets of the neighborhood. The smell of fireplaces first burn preparing for the upcoming winter. The incantation of trick of treat heard through the night. They return at the end of night with all the goodies collected. Then finding their secret places at their cove where they can hide their stash for days to follow and  enjoy.    
 HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

~~Stephen Hill~~




 The above is a Greek Orthodox  icon depicting All Saints Day/Eve

Halloween otherwise known as "All Hollows Eve" in the Christian environment  commemorates all saints known and unknown. All Saints day is on November 1st., also known as "All Souls Day" There are variations in different forms of Christianity as  Eastern Christianity commemorates this holiday on the first Sunday after Pentecost.

The popular tradition of Halloween finds it origins linked to the Celts, although some historians and folklorist have linked Halloween to the Roman feast  dedicated to the Goddess Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds. Or, ~~ the festival of the dead called Parentalia.

A popular belief however, is the Celtic festival of the Samhain which is derived from the Old Irish meaning "Summers End".

The practice of dressing up in costumes and asking  for treats door to door date back to the middle ages. It symbolizes poor folk on this day receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls day celebrated on November 2nd. 

In Scotland and Ireland  dating back to 1895 children would dress up in costume going door to door for food or coins. The earliest recording of such a similar tradition was 1911 in the US.

Most Christians do not view Halloween as a threat to their church. They view Halloween purely as a secular celebration.  Not a surprise to me, as Christmas and Easter celebrations are full of Paganism and yet it is tolerated. Besides, what would the candy stores and greeting card companies do without Halloween?

The Jack-0-lanterns ~~ The Legend of Stingy Jack:

The following is from History.com


"People have been making jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween  for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.


Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O-Lantern."


In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o'lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that Pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o'-lanterns.


Every October, carved pumpkins peer out from porches and doorsteps in the United States and other parts of the world. Gourd-like orange fruits inscribed with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign of the Halloween season. The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns”—the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack—originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as an early canvas. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities."


Halloween has generated a whole new waive of concern for crime which has taken out much of the fun of trick or treating. You as a parent has to examine each piece of candy or treat to make sure it is safe to eat. What a shame!

You can celebrate Halloween as a Religious or secular event. Or ~~ a traditional Druid or Celtic event celebrating the end of Summer or just an opportunity to relive your childhood. How ever you celebrate, be safe and well!









2 comments:

  1. What a wonder-filled way to enter into Holiday festivities

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you and may the festivities bring you happiness and and enlightenment!

    ReplyDelete

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