Lads, look at yourselves. Why are you, boy, wearing that Skull face? And you, boy, carrying a scythe, and you, lad, made up like a Witch? And you, you, you!” He thrust his bony finger at each mask. “You don’t know, do you? You just put on those faces and old mothball clothes and jump out, but you don’t really know, do you? – Ray Bradbury (The Halloween Tree)
Remember the sweet satisfaction of a pillowcase, paper bag or plastic pumpkin-head swelling with the weight of Halloween candy? Think of the candy bars, lollipops and bubble gum mingling together in the monstrous payload you’ve been waiting all year to collect and consume in one riotous night of excitement. It’s so exciting in fact, that you may never pause to ponder why on earth you do it. What happy trick of fate empowered you to don a disguise and march up to strange doorways demanding treats? Continue reading
Posted in Blog, Crime, Culture, Holidays, Public Life, Recreation
Tagged All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, Ancient Egypt, ancient history, AntiquityNOW, Aztecs, Celts, Dio de Los Muertos, guising, Guy Fawkes Day, Halloween, mumming, souling, trick-or-treat
Imagine celebrating the New Year on Halloween. Ghosts, costumes, candy, parties, fortune tellers, bonfires- and champagne toasts at midnight! Our modern Halloween was not always about trick or treating and carving pumpkins. It was influenced by numerous other traditions, including the celebration of the Celtic New Year.
Modern day offerings for the Samhain festival. Image courtesy of Avia Venefica on Flickr.
The largest influence on our modern Halloween is Samhain: the Celtic New Year celebration that fell roughly on October 31st – November 1st. Celts believed that on the evening of the New Year souls of the dead could return to Earth. Continue reading
Posted in Blog, Holidays, Public Life
Tagged All Saints Day, ancient history, AntiquityNOW, Celtic, Halloween, history, New Year, Parentalia, Samhain