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Halloween

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This details the history of Halloween.

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Halloween

  1. 1. The History of Halloween
  2. 2. Origin s Began 2000 years ago Celtic paganism [Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France], ancient Roman religions, early Catholic Christianity and Northern European folklore Filtered through an American lens
  3. 3. Oct. 31 – Nov. 1 As the time between the old and new years, the rules of normal time and space were suspended (Thinning of the veil) Plants that kept the dead at bay are also dead Ghosts of the dead returned Caused trouble and damaged crops Spirits’ presence also made it easier for the Druids (priests) to make predictions about the future
  4. 4. Samhain Celebration  Built huge sacred bonfires; people burned crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities  Wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins  Eventually these take on the look of masks and costumes to blend with the spirits  Attempted to tell each other's fortunes  End of celebration was to take a part of the bonfire to light their own hearth fires; protection during the coming winter.
  5. 5. Romans  43 CE: Roman permenant conquest arrived  Over the next 400 years, Rome combined two of their own festivals with Samhain  Feralia: Late October; Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead  Celebration of Pomona, traditionally Nov. 1. Pomona was the Roman goddess of fruit and trees.  Symbol is the apple (love and fertility). Also incorporated fruit and nuts into the celebration.  Bobbing for apples  Divination games with apples, Nuts, mirrors, etc.  Candy apples (negative media) Scotland: Carve an apple peel in one long strip, then toss the peel over one's shoulder. The peel is believed to land in the shape of the first letter of the future spouse's name.
  6. 6. Christianity  In 834 CE, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1st All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs  Widely believed that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church- sanctioned holiday; the festival was moved from May 13  Samhain became All-hallows Eve [Halloween]  1000 CE the church added November 2nd as All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead.  Celebrated with bonfires, parades  Dressed up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils.  Together these three holidays became Hallowmas.
  7. 7. Trick-or-treating During the All Souls Day festival in England, poor people would beg (go a-souling) for soul cakes, square pieces of bread with currants; families would give soul cakes in return for a promise to pray for the family’s relatives The practice was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money (Today: candy) Candy Corn: Invented: 1898 Ingredients at that time: Candy corn, sugar, water, and corn syrup (slurry). Fondant for smooth texture and marshmallow for a soft bite whipped in.
  8. 8. Coming to America Initially, Hallowe’en was extremely limited in colonial New England due to heavy Protestantism  More common in Maryland/southern colonies  First celebrations were public parties celebrating the harvest  Stories of the dead were told as were ghost stories  Fortunes read  Dances and singing held  Mischief-making and pranks  By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.
  9. 9. Coming to America with Irish Immigration… In the 1800s Irish immigrants came into America, (especially those fleeing the 1846 potato famine) brought with them new ideas of Hallowe’en Began to dress up in costumes Go house to house asking for food or money Divination: women could find their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors.
  10. 10. The Irish used to carry turnips with candles in them to light their way at night and to scare away ghosts. When they arrived in America they found that pumpkins were more plentiful and easier to carve than turnips. A truly American tradition: Pumpkins originated in South America 30 varieties. Most popular: the Connecticut Field Pumpkin Irish contributions: Jack o’ Lanterns Tidbit: In the 19th century, people believed that pumpkins could cure freckles, wrinkles, and snake bites. It is still used for digestive issues with pets.
  11. 11. Evolving in America  Late 1800s: Desire to make Hallowe’en into more of a social and neighborly gathering, less about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft  Through the turn of the century, people celebrated with parties for both children and adults  Focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes  Adults were encouraged by the media to take out the scary parts of Hallowe’en By the 1920s/30s: Halloween a secular community-centered and less superstitiously-based holiday Parades Community-wide parties However, vandalism (tricks) began to return to the holiday
  12. 12. Evolution in America 20th Century 1950s became kid friendly and child- centered Vandalism limited Holiday directed mostly at the young Parties moved from town civic centers into classrooms and homes Between the 1920s and 50s, trick-or- treating revived as an inexpensive way for the town to celebrate the holiday together Helped families prevent tricks and vandalism by providing the neighborhood children with small treats (and keeping an eye on them).
  13. 13. Halloween Today Second only to Christmas as a retail holiday $2.5 billion spent on costumes annually With candy, Americans spend $6.9 billion on Hallowe’en per year
  14. 14. Happy Halloween and….

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