Wednesday, October 20, 2010

History of Halloween

Are you ready for Halloween yet?  Halloween comes every year on Oct 31, but do we know why we go trick or treating, go bobbing for apples, carve pumpkins, and decorate with bats?  Halloween is between two seasons - fall and winter.  It's a time between life and death. 

Most of our traditions for celebrating come from ancient Celtic practices, Catholic, and Roman religious rituals and a blend of European folk traditions.  Halloween was believed as a time when the dead can return to the earth.  Ancient celtics would wear scary costumes and gather around Halloween bonfires to ward off these ghosts.  While gathered around the bonfire, bugs would be attracted to the light which would bring bats hence the bat imagery for Halloween.  People would decorate their window with Jack O Lanterns to keep the evil spirits away too.  The Catholic holiday of All Saints Day also influenced our modern holiday. 

In the 19th century Halloween became more of a children's holiday, but we adults still look for our fun by dressing up and going to parties. What are you going to dress up as for Halloween?

Looking for some places to visit for Halloween?  
I recommend:
Sleepy Hollow, NY (tale of the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane)
Salem, MA (home of the Salem witch trials)
Lilydale, NY (a village of psychics and inspiration stump)
Savannah, GA (tour the city as well as the cemeteries...there are many ghost stories)
Lake Ontario (The Lady in White legend)

I wish you many warm nights as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder.  Happy Halloween!

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