I did have a post that seems to have disappeared it was about Hallowe’en so maybe the Ghosties are at work.
Being from Ireland I’m particularly fond of Hallowe’en – it is our Holiday after all – in the same way that Los Dias De Los Muertos is from Mexico. In my grumpier moods I find I’m shouting at the telly when presenters say that say it’s an American thing – It’s Not!!!! ok now it is but presenter own words of great power – they can say something in a certain way that strikes a cord with one or two viewers who want to expand on the piece of knowledge they have just noticed. Sorry for that mini rant.
Now for the next mini rant – America/USA . I suppose in the scheme of things I see it like a puppy – full of boundless energy and enthusiasm. They see a good idea, recognise it as great, embrace it and then make it their own. However, like a puppy that happily and enthusiastically gets a shoe when it’s finished you know it was a shoe but alas it is nothing like the original – but that’s ok! What gets me (and I do apologies in advance but I don’t mean to upset anybody) is the willingness to adopt all things American as cool and neglect your own ways. There’s nothing wrong with having both but unfortunately the information is being forgotten and it’s like the past never existed.
So what do we do at Hallowe’en?
We dress up of course! Do you know why? It was to confuse the fairies and spirits that were out and about on this night. Fairies were known to take people and mainly in the case of children they would leave a changeling. When we dress up as one of the fairies they don’t see us as the children or folk how live around here.
We go out trick or treating but seen very much as an american thing – but when you look at it – it’s very similar to the Wren Boys – who would look for ‘A penny or tuppence would do it no harm’ ( -almost like a penny for the guy) Again you are going out testing your disguise. According to Wikipedia (ahem) the origin is souling and it’s something I must look up a bit more before I would swear to it.
More Christianity is about when we look at our lanterns – the turnip was used as a candle stand at both Samhain & Nollaig (the Christmas use was to light the way of the holy couple to Bethlehem and possibly and earlier use a candle in the window for welcoming strangers). The Hallowe’en use was for Jack O’Lantern as he wanders through eternity as a lesson to the sinful.
Later the pumpkin came to us as it was much easier to be carved and the carving of them was in use for Thanksgiving.
This is an article in one of todays papers telling some of the history and how it’s been taken over “Spirit of our Celtic Past”
From the same paper a piece about Eddie Lenihan
Eddie Lenihan again telling his fairy stories – this man and his stories had a huge influence on my youth.
Looking at these links I would recommend working from the bottom up.