Some people know this day as Halloween, “All Saints Day“, or Samhain. Some people know the history of this day while others do not. In later years, we do know that the holiday ultimately lost its true meaning. Originally this day was a Pagan celebrated holiday. Samhain actually means “Summer’s End” which meant of course the end of summer and the beginning of the long winter months. This is the time when people who were affected by this change prepared by drying or smoking meat, hanging herbs in their rafters, where they should have gathered as much of their crops up, well before hand, for the winter months and stored them appropriately since everything has long died off now.
This is also the time when we “Honor our Ancestors” or “Honor the Dead” those who have come before us by spinning tales by hearth or bonfire (maybe a fake electric fireplace) of these “Ancestors” in order to give them life and to perhaps teach our children lessons of character, valor, honor, integrity, or whatever it is we wish them to learn.
We might give thanks to Mother God and Father God, the good and kindly Spirits that sought to keep our crops and animals healthy by making a special offering of our supper to them. This is also the time of year when it is believed that the “Veil” that separates the Spirit world from the World of the Living is the thinnest and it is much easier for us to communicate with these said “Dead” ancestors and the like. This is most likely where the idea of “Dressing up” came from. To “Hide” in plain sight from those wandering Spirits they did not wish to follow them home. The “Jack-o-lanterns” were originally carved out of turnips and some believed they represented the souls still trapped in Purgatory. So this time is DEFINITELY one of superstition to say the least.
It is thought that originally “Trick or Treating” originally was children, most likely, dressed up collecting supplies or items for their own families celebration of not only “Samhain” but the “Celtic New Year“. However, instead of saying “Trick or Treat” they most likely said something different since it is believed they had to perform some feat of entertainment in order to “earn” their “Treat”. It was only in more recent time that the phrase “Trick or Treat” came about and was adopted.
Many Neo-Pagans, Wiccans, the the like have even adopted Samhain into their own traditions, celebrating in their own personal and various ways.
For myself this time of the year is largely about paying respect to our ancestors, giving thanks to Mother God and Father God for a good year and enjoying one anothers company, while possibly sharing stories by a fire. Ideally, one day I’d love to make this a large group event thing with friends & family where we can all dance around a big bonfire and share stories of our ancestors. I think it would be most awesome.
Have a safe and enjoyable Halloween everyone! I hope you enjoy it with good company. 🙂
- Samhain History (witchesofthecraft.wordpress.com)
- Halloween: The Meaning Behind the Day (onedesertrose.wordpress.com)