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Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Pumpkin
I'd like to wish you all a very happy Halloween, and I hope you enjoy yourself with all your pumpkins and trick-or-treating or whatever you do and get everybody scared by dressing up as a monster from Doctor Who perhaps? But anyway, I'm going to give you, thanks to everyone who edits Wikipedia, a short snippet about the history of Halloween and the name of it. And trust me, you shouldn't get bored! But first, here is a great Halloween joke, which should get most of the misery out of you! Highlight to reveal the answer;
Q: Why did the skeleton cross the road?
A: Because he didn't have the guts!
That was so bad, lets try again;
Q: What has webbed feet, feathers, fangs and goes quack-quack?
A: Count Duckula
Not too bad, I guess. Anyway, Halloween History;
Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year". Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.
The term Halloween is shortened from All Hallows' Even (both "even" and "eve" are abbreviations of "evening", but "Halloween" gets its "n" from "even") as it is the eve of "All Hallows' Day", which is now also known as All Saints' Day. It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions, until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 (which had itself been the date of a pagan holiday, the Feast of the Lemures) to November 1. In the ninth century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Although All Saints' Day is now considered to occur one day after Halloween, the two holidays were, at that time, celebrated on the same day. Liturgically, the Church traditionally celebrated that day as the Vigil of All Saints, and, until 1970, a day of fasting as well. Like other vigils, it was celebrated on the previous day if it fell on a Sunday, although secular celebrations of the holiday remained on the 31st. The Vigil was suppressed in 1955, but was later restored in the post-Vatican II calendar.

In other news, Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor, will be presenting Have I Got News For You tonight, from 9pm to 9:30pm. Will you be watching?


TOCS said...

Great post, very interesting :)

Happy Halloween!


Zobles said...

Great post,
Happy Halloween! (days late)

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