This nOde last updated June 4th, 2005 and is
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Halloween also Hallowe'en
(hàl´e-wên´, hòl´-) noun
October 31, celebrated in the United States, Canada, and the British Isles by children going door to door while wearing costumes and begging treats and playing pranks.
[Short for All Hallow Even : Allhallow(mas) + even2.]
Halloween, name applied to the evening of October 31, which precedes the christian feast of All Saints' Day. Halloween traditions are thought to have originated among ancient Druids, who believed that evil spirits were active on that evening. Ancient Celts observed Halloween as the last evening of the year and believed that during it the spirits of the dead revisited their earthly homes. After the Romans conquered ancient Britain about 55 BC, they added features of a Roman harvest festival to Halloween. The concept of ghosts and witches is still common to all Halloween observances.
sorcery: Walpurgisnacht, Halloween
There is nothing funny
Halloween. This sarcastic festival reflects, rather, an infernal demand
for revenge by children on the adult world.
Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929), French semiologist. America, "Astral America" (1986; tr. 1988).
The Druids knew that these three days had a special quality about them. The veil between this world and the World of the Ancestors was drawn aside on these nights, and for those who were prepared, journeys could be made in safety to the ’other side’. The Druid rites, therefore, were concerned with making contact with the spirits of the departed, who were seen as sources of guidance and inspiration rather than as sources of dread. The dark moon, the time when no moon can be seen in the sky, was the phase of the moon which ruled this time, because it represents a time in which our mortal sight needs to be obscured in order for us to see into the other worlds.
The dead are honoured and feasted, not as the dead, but as the living spirits of loved ones and of guardians who hold the root-wisdom of the tribe. With the coming of christianity, this festival was turned into Hallowe’en (31 October), All Hallows [All Saints Day] (1 November), and All Souls Day (2 November). Here we can see most clearly the way in which christianity built on the Pagan foundations it found rooted in these isles. Not only does the purpose of the festival match with the earlier one, but even the unusual length of the festival is the same.
The christian church was
unable to get the people to stop celebrating this holiday, so they
sprinkled a little holy water
on it and gave it new names, as they did with other Paleopagan holidays
and customs. This was a form of calendrical imperialism, co-opting
sacred times, as they had Paleopagan sacred places (most if not all of
the great cathedrals of Europe were built on top of earlier Paleopagan
shrines and sacred groves). So when fundamentalists come to your
local school board and try to get Halloween removed from the public
because “it’s a Pagan holiday,” they are perfectly
correct. Of course,
Day/Lupercalia, Easter/Eostre, and Christmas/Yule also have many Paleopagan elements associated with their dating and/or symbols, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and others have pointed out for decades. So if we decide to rid the public schools of all holidays that have Pagan aspects to them, there won’t be many left for the kids to enjoy.
Halloween is the modern name for Samhain, an ancient Celtic holy day which many Neopagans — especially Wiccans, Druids and Celtic Reconstructionists — celebrate as a spiritual beginning of a new year.
Halloween is a time to confront our personal and cultural attitudes towards death and those who have passed on before us.
Halloween is a time to lift the veil between the many material and spiritual worlds in divination, so as to gain spiritual insight about the pasts and futures.
Halloween is a time to deepen our connection to the cycles of the seasons, to the generations that have come before us and those that will follow, and to the Gods and Goddesses we worship.
Halloween is a time to let our inner children out to play, to pass on our childhood traditions to our children, and to share the fun with our friends and neighbors of many other faiths. So…
- Isaac Bonewits - _The History of Halloween_
We all dressed in
black we snuck up around the back
We began to attack the eggs did crack on Haze's back
Sam I am down with the program Green eggs and ham Yosemite Sam
Come Halloween you know I come strapped I throw it at a sucker K-pap
- _Egg Man_ MP3
by The Beastie
Boys off of _Paul's Boutique_ cassette
first show: was hired as a gag, to open up for Sun Ra at a local radio station's Halloween
party. But no one gets the joke as the band continually assaults their
shocked and befuddled audience, with computerized noise blasts
(_Subhuman Woman_) and grating vocals (_Beulah_).
track _Halloween_ MP3 by Dead Kennedys off of _Plastic Surgery
So it's Halloween
And you feel like dancin'
And you feel like shinin'
And you feel like letting loose
Whatcha gonna be
Babe, you better know
And you better plan
Better plan all day
Better plan all week
Better plan all month
Better plan all year
You're dressed up like a clown
Putting on your act
It's the only time all year
You'll ever admit that
I can see your eyes
I can see your brain
Baby, nothing's changed
You're still hiding
in a mask
You take your fun seriously
No, don't blow this year's chance
Tomorrow your mold goes back on
You go to work today
You'll go to work tomorrow
You'll brag about it for months
Remember what I did
Remember what I was
Back on Halloween
But what's in between
Where are your ideas?
You sit around and dream
For next Halloween
Why not everyday
Are you so afraid
What will people say
Because your role is
planned for you
There's nothing you can do
But stop and think it through
But what will the boss say to you
And what will your
girlfriend say to you
And the people out on the street they might glare at you
And whadya know you're pretty self-conscious too
So you run back and stuff yourselves in
rigid business costumes
Only at night to score is your leather uniform exhumed
Why don't you take your social regulations
And shove 'em up your ass
_The Simpsons Halloween Special (AKA: Treehouse of
Horror)_ [Aired October 25, 1990] Season
Bart and Lisa swap three horror stories in their tree house:
A Halloween party for
students is banned at Pine Island Elementary after protests from
parents and religious leaders that the holiday glorifies Satan.
up holding a November "fall festival" instead--unanimously agreed to
reinstate the Halloween festivities the following year.