Tuesday, October 31, 2006


A little background on Halloween:

The origin of Halloween dates back 2000 years ago to the Celtic celebration of the dead. A Celtic festival was held on November 1, the first day of the celtic New Year, honoring the Samhain, the Lord of the Dead. Celtic ritual believed that the souls of the dead returned on the evening before November 1. The celebration included burning sacrifices and costumes. These early events began as both a celebration of the harvest and an honoring of dead ancestors.

Halloween spread throughout Europe in the seventh century. It began with "All Hallows Eve," the "Night of the Dead." It is immediately followed by "All Souls Day," a christian holy day.

The first lighted fruit was really carved out of gourds and turnips. European custom also included carving scary faces into the gourds and placing embers inside to light them. This was believed to ward off evil spirits, especially spirits who roamed the streets and countryside during All Hallows Eve.

The Irish brought the tradition of carving turnips with them to America. They quickly discovered that pumpkins were bigger and easier to carve.

I can attest to that since, growing up in Scotland, we used to raid farmers' fields at night to find the biggest turnips, which then took hours to carve because they're rock solid. On Halloween, we'd don costumes and go door to door with our lanterns asking for "a penny for the Guy" ~ screw candy, we Scots went straight for the cash!

Here's my Halloween tune for the day.

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