Friday, October 30, 2009

I blame school for my lack of creativity

I bought my Halloween costume today...or I should say, it choose for me, being that there were no other decent costumes left. Since when did everything involving Halloween become all about how LITTLE material you can wear? It's annoying! I ended up buying cat ears and a tail...yes, a totally uncreative and boring costume, but at least I'll be warm, comfy, and covered up. Besides, I have grad school all weekend and don't have much time to hunt for a more creative costume. What are y'all going as?

I also thought I'd share a little on the true origins of Halloween below, courtesy of this website. Enjoy!

Halloween is far from being a pagan religious event and is actually a Christian celebration that's almost 1,300 years old.

"Halloween" is a name that means nothing by itself. It is a contraction of "All Hallows Eve," and it designates the vigil of All Hallows Day, more commonly known as All Saints Day. ("Hallow" as a noun is an old English word for saint). Saints Day, November 1, is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church, and both the feast and the vigil have been celebrated since the early eighth century, when they were instituted by Pope Gregory III in Rome.

Despite rumors about the "pagan origins" of Halloween, there really are none. The first attempts to show some connection between the vigil of All Saints and the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain came over a thousand years after All Saints Day became a universal feast, and there's no evidence whatsoever that Gregory III was even aware of Samhain.

In Celtic peasant culture, however, elements of the harvest festival survived, even among Christians, just as the Christmas tree owes its origins to pre-Christian Germanic traditions without being a pagan ritual.

The Celtic elements included lighting bonfires, carving turnips (and, in America, pumpkins), and going from house to house, collecting treats, as carolers do at Christmas. But the "occult" aspects of Halloween--ghosts and demons--actually have their roots in Catholic belief. Christians believed that, at certain times of the year (Christmas is another), the veil separating earth from Purgatory, heaven, and even hell becomes more thin, and the souls in Purgatory (ghosts) and demons can be more readily seen. Thus the tradition of Halloween costumes owes as much, if not more, to Christian belief as to Celtic tradition.


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