Day 290 Question 290:
What are some of your best Halloween memories?
Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I have not dressed up and partaken in the activities of this day in a couple of years but I still love it. I listen to some people go on and on about how they won’t celebrate Halloween because of its evil spirit and it means worshipping Pagans. I have a fascination with learning history and Halloween has this rich history and I see no harm in people celebrating as they choose.
Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.
As you can see we have taken this holiday and “Americanized” it and I would wager to guess that many people do not know much about the origin of the holiday itself…again, there really is no harm in that. I would have a hard time believing that children under the age of 5 are using this night to worship the dead. I love Halloween because it gives children and adults alike the opportunity to take on a character and to enjoy the season of Fall. In my opinion, it is a Holiday (if people do not get out of hand) that brings people together and it is a night that we see so many people enjoying a night of ridding ourselves of our everyday stresses and having fun. Maybe the origin has been lost but does that really matter if it means that people are having a good time (yes, I realize some people take it to the extreme but I speak generally here)?
I have great memories of Halloween from when I was a very little girl. I remember my mom working at this great place that had all of these elaborate costumes and being only about 6 years old and putting on a huge flowy dress like I was a flamenco dancer. I, of course, didn’t know what a flamenco dancer was but to a 6 year old that didn’t matter. I got to wear this amazing dress and have my hair done up all pretty. I was a clown one Halloween (which is ironic considering my present hatred for clowns) and a Rabbit in a Hat for another (which I thought was such a clever idea. For several years my girl friends and I dressed up as punk rock chicks and wore the ripped jeans and spray painted our hair every color of the rainbow. I attended a church Halloween party and my mom had doused my hair with so much hairspray that people thought it was a wig….you can imagine how fun it was to wash that out. Even into my adult years I loved to get decked out for the Holiday. I have attended more Halloween parties than any other Holiday. I love the magic of Halloween and seeing everyone’s creativity come alive. My best friends (from high school) dad was a great makeup artist and one year he did my makeup as if I were a zombie and he whited out my face and put scars up and down the cheeks then make it look at if a long nail was protruding out of my forehead and he even did makeup to make it look like I had a slit neck.
I wanted to share some great pictures just to make people smile on this fun holiday. I hope everyone keeps it safe and has a great time…let loose and have fun….be someone else for just one night :0)