The Origin of Halloween
Since the 800’s November 1st is a religious holiday known as All Saints’ Day. The Mass that was said on this day was called Allhallowmas. The evening before became known as All Hallow e’en, or Halloween. Like some other American celebrations, its origins lie in both pre-Christian and Christian customs.
“What we now know as ‘Halloween’ developed from ancient New Year festivals and festivals of the dead. The Celts lived more than two thousand years ago in what is now the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Northern France. Their New Year began on November 1st. A festival that began the previous evening honoured this Samhain, the Lord of Death. The celebration marked the beginning of the season of cold, darkness, and decay.
In pre-Christian Britain, October 31st was considered as the eve of New Year, when the souls of the dead – especially those who had died in the past year – were believed to revisit their homes. On this day ghosts walked and mingled with the living, or so the Celts thought. The townspeople baked food all that day and when night fell they dressed up and tried to resemble the souls of the dead. Hoping that the ghosts would leave peacefully before midnight of the new year the people carried the food to the edge of town and left it for them.
After it became a “Christian” festival, the evil supernatural symbolic associations continued – alongside such customs as the shaping of a demonic face out of a hollow pumpkin, in which a candle is placed. In the Halloween which people celebrate today, many of the practices have a direct association with witchcraft.
Much later, when Christianity spread throughout Ireland and October 31 was no longer the last day of the year, Halloween became a celebration mostly for children. “Ghosts” went from door to door asking for treats, or else a trick would be played on the owners of the house. When millions of Irish people immigrated to the United States in the 1840s the tradition came with them.
Symbols of Halloween
Halloween originated as a celebration connected with evil spirits. Witches flying on broomsticks with black cats, ghosts, goblins and skeletons have all evolved as symbols of Halloween. They are popular trick-or-treat costumes and decorations for greeting cards and windows. Black is one of the traditional Halloween colors, probably because Halloween festivals and traditions took place at night. In the weeks before October 31, Americans decorate windows of houses and schools with silhouettes of witches and black cats.
Pumpkins are also a symbol of Halloween. The pumpkin is an orange-colored squash, and orange has become the other traditional Halloween color. Carving pumpkins into jack- o’lanterns is a Halloween custom also dating back to Ireland. A legend grew up about a man named Jack who was so stingy that he was not allowed into heaven when he died, because he was a miser. He couldn’t enter hell either because he had played jokes on the devil. As a result, Jack had to walk the earth with his lantern until Judgement Day. The Irish people carved scary faces out of turnips, beets or potatoes representing “Jack of the Lantern,” or Jack-o’lantern. When the Irish brought their customs to the United States, they carved faces on pumpkins because in the autumn they were more plentiful than turnips.
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The next meeting of the St. James’ Camera Club is ????.
CLICK HERE for The St. James’ Camera Club website
The St. James’ Camera Club meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month in the St. James’ Parish Hall from 7:00 pm to around 9:15 pm. All are welcome.
All levels of experience are welcome. Visit us on Flickr CLICK HERE, for St. James’ Camera Club Photos.
New members are always welcome! Sign-up on the website (link above). Read more of this article »
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St. James’ provides the coffee, tea, sweeteners, cups , plates, napkins and juice. You need to bring Milk & Half & Half. If you need any of these items, check the supply cabinet. Coffee for the entire morning will be made prior to the 9:00am service. Please make 40 cups of Coffee of each Regular and Decaf (add 2 cups of ground coffee to each pot) and label each pot. Hot water can be made in the silver pot near the stove.
9:00 A.M. Coffee Hour is set up in the hallway between the classrooms (tablecloths are in the cabinet by the freezer). Platters can be found in the cabinet to the left of the refrigerator. Serving utensils are found in the drawer under the butcher block. Any leftovers can be passed on to the 10:30 coffee hour or wrapped and taken home. Please clean up and put away (not in dish rack) any plates and utensils used.
10:30am Coffee Hour is set up in the Parish Hall by the doors to the kitchen. Tablecloths are in the cabinet next to the freezer. Feel free to use any platters, plates, and utensils you need. Verify you have enough Coffee made. After Coffee Hour, please clean plates, utensils and coffee pots etc. (do not place coffee pots in the sink). Please clean up tables, counters and empty garbage (garbage goes out on the back porch in cans). Please put everything used away (not in dish rack). Please take all leftovers home or freeze and label them for later use.
Milk & Half & Half can be left.
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