Sunday, October 31, 2010
Halloween...is a holiday that's celebrated annually on the night of October 31. It originated in Ireland. The word itself, "Halloween," actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, "All Hollows Day" (or "All Saints Day"), is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (sow-en), the Celtic New year. The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840's by Irish immigrants fleeing their country's potato famine. At that time, the favorite pranks in New England included tipping over outhouses and unhinging fence gates. The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven.
Now that you have had your little history lesson about Halloween......
Halloween....whether you and your children celebrated it or not..you may have memories of the night. Doorbells ring, children dressed as ghosts, goblins and their favorite cartoon characters reciting the "trick or treat" mantra, in hopes of receiving a treat from your home. Perhaps you dressed your children up and went walking through your neighborhood and your children came home with more candy than they needed. The whole point of Halloween for me was doing something special with my son. Something he looked forward to until he became too old to trick or treat. Now that he is an adult, I miss those cold, dark nights bundled up to fend off the cold and walking from home to home with him.
So tonight when your doorbell rings and a cute little character recites "trick or treat", give then a great treat, smile and enjoy the little ones. There may be a parent who is celebrating their last Halloween with their child tonight.
Most of all, be safe, stay warm and check your child's candy before they eat it. Sad world we live in that one has to do this.
Posted by Alienated mom at 11:46 AM