On October 31 once again we are celebrating Halloween. This holiday has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain that marked the end of Summer and the beginning of the dark season. Halloween also coincides with the Christian holiday of All Saints and is very popular with children in the Anglo-Saxon world, especially in the USA.
"The celebration has some elements of a festival of the dead. The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honored and invited home whilst harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.
Another common practice was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink."
What would Halloween be without a good scary story? here is a link to a website that offers some thrill Halloween Ghost Stories
Wishing you sweet and spooky Halloween - Dominique
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