Thursday, October 28, 2010

History and Lore of Halloween

All Hallows’ Eve
This day was known as Samhain to the ancient Celts—the death night of the old year. It was a turning point that marked the end of summer (life and light) and the beginning of winter (death and darkness).

This is the day when all the saints are honored—especially those who do not have a day of their own. The idea probably began in the 4th century as a way to honor Christian martyrs whose names were unknown.

Traditionally, All Saints’ Day features chestnuts, gingerbread, and doughnuts. The round shape of the doughnuts was said to symbolize eternity, a nod to the saints whose lives are celebrated.

On random wires the rows of summer swallows
Wait for their liftoff.
They will soon be gone
Before All Saints’ and before All Hallows’,
The changing time when we are most alone.
May Sarton (1912–95)

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An american yankee up past the 49th parellel.


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