Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! Did you know one of the earliest celebrations involving the dead is the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain as early as 1999 BC? The Celts dressed up to hide from evil spirits. 2,000 years ago, the Roman Catholic Church tried to transform the pagan festivities of Samhain into a Christian celebration and eventually Samhain fused with All Saint's Day and evolved into the Eve of All Saints to the Eve of All Hallows to Hallow Eve to Halloween. Halloween is celebrated on the night of October 31st. All Saint's Day is celebrated on November 1st. It is a celebration that pays tribute to all Christian saints. All Soul's Day is celebrated on November 2nd. It is a celebration for deceased loved ones. I find it interesting how Paganism and Christianity fused to create a holiday. Halloween is festive, but All Saints and All Soul's Day are somber occasions.

Then there is Dia de los Muertos! The Day of the Dead! Which is joyous and fun! I am obsessed with Sugar Skulls! Remember my post Thursday? Hee hee. So, most of us know about Halloween, All Saint's, All Soul's, and the Day of the Dead. But did you know there were other cultures that celebrate the dead and other spooky things?

  • Tomb Sweeping Day celebrated by Buddhists on the 106th day after the Winter Solstice (early April).
  • The Ghost Festival, also celebrated by Buddhists, in August.
  • Mischief Night in England celebrated on November 4th.
  • Day of the Skulls in Bolivia is celebrated on November 9th.
Interesting to learn about other cultures! For the Westerners celebrating a traditional Halloween, stay safe, and check your candy before you eat it! Happy Halloween!

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