Originally known as Samhain (sow-in), Halloween originated more than 2,000 years ago as a day for the ancient Kelts in Ireland, England and northern France to prepare for the New Year on November 1. October 31 marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of often unforgiving winters. It was a night where the lines of past, present and future collided, allowing the dead to walk amongst the living. The winters were hard and food supplies were often low. Fearful that evil spirits would threaten the harvest, the Kelts wore masks in hopes of warding off evil spirits and left food outside their doors as an offering. The Druids—the religious leaders of the community—would perform rituals to protect the community from the evil spirits and attract and welcome the good spirits who would guide them in making prophecies to navigate any dangers that may affect the promise of a prosperous new year. The Druids wore costumes with animal heads and held large bonfires with sacrifices from the harvest to satisfy both the evil and good spirits. By 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had conquered most of the Keltic territories and throughout their 400year rule they integrated two festivals: Feralia, a day to celebrate the passing of the dead and a celebration to honor Pomona, the goddess of fruits and trees, and Samhain. By the ninth century Christianity had spread throughout Europe and the papacy looked to diminish Samhain by marking November 1 as All Saints Day. Samhain became AllHallows Eve, eventually Halloween. November 2 marked All Souls Day to honor those who had recently passed and was similar to Samhain. It was celebrated with bonfires and parties with revelers dressing in costumes as devils, saints and angels. In England poor children would “go a-souling,” visiting houses for offerings of food called “soul cakes,” with the promise of praying for the giver’s loved ones.
During the Dark Ages All-Hallows Eve once again became a time of fear and birthed many of the superstitions associated with Halloween, such as the ill-fortune of having a black cat crossing one’s path. The people now saw the night as one filled with evil where witches engaged in debauchery with demons and black cats were assumed to be witches in disguise. European settlers brought Halloween with them to America. Puritans forbade the holiday in the New England colonies, but it survived in some areas of the South as a night of ghost stories and community gatherings. During the 1800s, when America was flooded with Catholic immigrants, Halloween emerged as a celebration to bring together communities with parties and parades, but by the early 1900s large cities were being flooded with vandalism on Halloween and the holiday was discouraged. In the 1920s Halloween became a secular holiday and was marked with parties, but vandalism was still prevalent. In the 1950s the nation’s police had mostly disbanded the vandalism and with the explosion of baby boomers, Halloween became a children’s holiday; trick-or-treating became a way to connect with neighbors in the beginning of the suburban era. It was now a celebration of candy and costumes of favorite characters and ghoulish beings. Halloween continued as a children’s holiday through the decades, but in the 1980s and 1990s fear began to arise with rumors of poisoned candy and apples with razor blades. As a result, community parties have returned in popularity and the holiday has shifted from being solely a children’s holiday to one that people of all ages can enjoy.
All Hallows Harvest Festival & Craft Fair
Lake Charles Civic Center | Noon - 7pm Merchant Vendors • Food Vendors • Kiddy Korner Hay Rides • Adopted A Soldier • Zombie Walk Pumpkin Carving Contest • Scary Okie • Scare Pageant and Much More!
http://allhollowharvestfe.wix.com/all-hollows A portion of the funds will go to the Wounded Warrior Association.
Your Halloween Headquarters Corner of Lake Street & McNeese Street
337-477-2789 October 2015
Thrive Magazine for Better Living
October 2015 Issue of Thrive