Paragraph About Halloween

1348 Words 6 Pages
Laura Pollard
Professor Pricket
English 101 Section 40
6 October 2016 Halloween - From the Celtic Peoples to America As the air turns crisp and the trees erupt into an explosion of orange and burgundy- much like the flames of a phoenix 's fiery death- cobwebs, ghosts, and pumpkins begin to adorn the lawns and porches of American homes. Halloween is drawing near, and goblins, ghouls and witches abound in store windows and school hallways. [3] Halloween is a widely celebrated American tradition, but its origins are much older than the country itself. The beloved holiday has its roots in the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, pronounced "sah-win". Most of the modern traditions associated with Halloween can be traced back to traditions that began
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The Celtic year began on November 1st, which was the beginning of winter (Santino). The festival of Samhain was celebrated on the evening before; it was the most important holiday of the Celtic peoples, celebrating the end of summer and the harvest while welcoming winter (Santino; Mescher). Spirits walked the earth during Samhain, because this was the time of year when all of the people who had died in the previous year traveled to the underworld (Santino). [1] The souls of the departed would wander the earth looking for a body to possess for the next year before passing on to the underworld. The Celtic peoples would often wear costumes to frighten off the souls or to trick them into believing that the they were spirits themselves (Mescher). The Celtic people left out food for the spirits in an effort to appease them. Meanwhile in Rome, in 601 AD, Pope Gregory the 1st issued an edict to missionaries who were trying to convert pagans to use their "native beliefs" instead of trying to get rid of them - "if a group of people worship a tree, rather than cut it down, he advised them to consecrate it to Christ and allow its worship" (Santino). In accordance with the edict of Pope Gregory, when Christian missionaries came to …show more content…
All Saints Day was originally celebrated by the Catholic church on November 1st as a way to honor the saints, particularly those who did not already have their own holiday. All Saints Day was also called All Hallows Day; the day before was All Hallows Eve, which eventually became shortened to Halloween (Santino). To celebrate All Saints many young men would dress up like the saints and go begging for food for the poor (Mescher). All Souls Day was another holiday intertwined with Samhain and was celebrated on the 2nd of November as a way to honor those who had died in the previous year (Santino). People made soul cakes for the wandering souls of the deceased, and the poor would beg for them in exchange for prayers for the souls of the dead. This ritual was known as "a-soulin '" (Santino). These two traditions were no doubt related to or evolved from the Celtic ritual of leaving food for the spirits. New traditions arose as well- the jack-o-lantern for example. The tradition of creating jack-o-lanterns arose from the Irish legend of Stingy

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