Friday, October 31, 2008

Story of Halloween!

I have often wondered what the real meaning of Halloween is, and why we have never celebrated it in South Africa before. I must say that it is becoming more and more popular – why! Even we’re having a Halloween Party on tonight – Stacey and Katelin carved pumpkins last night! It was hard work! We couldn’t find the proper orange pumpkins, so had to settle for second best. They had VERY hard skins, and the girls battled, but did a really good job!

Stacey and Kate cutting pumpkins!

I did a bit of research – to find out what it’s really all about. There are so many different views. Apparently, the Celts (who lived in the area now known as Ireland), celebrated their new year on the 1st November. This day marked the end of summer and was the time for harvesting. It was the beginning of the dark, cold winter. The Celts believed that on the night before new year (ie 31st October) the boundary between the living and the dead became blurred. They believed the ghosts came back to earth and apart from destroying crops and causing havoc, it was believed that their presence made it easier for priests to predict the future! To remember this event, large bonfires were built and during these celebrations, they wore costumes and tried to tell one another’s fortunes!
By the 800’s, Christian influence had spread to the Celtic lands. In the 7th century November 1st was All Saints Day – a time to honour saints and martyrs. November 2nd was All Souls Day – a day to honour the Dead. Together the celebrations were called Hallowmas!

Stacey and pumpkin!

Kate and pumpkin!
Enough of the history lesson – it’s a holiday filled with mystery and magic! It began as an end-of-summer festival during which time people felt close to deceased relatives, it’s now a trick-or-treating costume party – fun for everyone!

Our vegetarian Border Collie enjoying the pumpkin pips and raw pumpkin!



Firefly said...

How I wish Halloween could be celebrated more here in South Africa. It is something I would really enjoy. I've been threatning to have a Halloween party for years now, but people just don't seem to be in the spirit of it. Why, why, why? I want to dress up and have fun.
*I better start acting my age. NOT*

Jeanette said...

Looks like you're going to have fun, enjoy yourselves!