Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Halloween : A month of activities and history

The history of Halloween is a surprisingly long one stretching back to the ancient Celts and the celebration of Samhain.  This celebration of course carried over through countries and the ages and eventually came to America.  Where it is now the second largest retail holiday, only out done by Christmas.  Billions are estimated to be spend this year alone.  How's that for an economy booster? 

Here at home we follow more the ancient road to celebrations.  We celebration Samhain, with a mix of voodoo and a little Los Dias De Los Muertos thrown in.  Yeah we mix it all up and have a great old time.  The veil gets thin and we offer up all those nasty things we gathered through the year that we really don't want to hang on to.  The fires burn high and we drink meade until our long gone relatives are out and about making a mess on the lawn.  Yeah its a big thing to us.  HUGE in fact. 

In honor of this, I thought I'd post some of our celebration favorites and why they are related to this glorious fall holiday.

Apples and apple bobbing - We get this from the Roman celebration of Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees whose symbol was the apple.  The use of her fruit has been incorporated in various ways through baking and devouring the luscious fruits during the celebrations, which also happens to be when they start coming into season.  Then there is the apple bobbing.  A great game for little ones, under adult supervision, and those who don't mind getting their costumes soaked! 

The pomegranate!  Yes more fruit.  It is the time of harvest and the eating after all!   The pomegranate has a long history tied to goddesses and witches and spells and boosting good health, sex and abundance.  What better fruit to celebrate all that we have and all that we might have in the future.  The veil is thinning and our dead relatives are going to come calling, so why are we celebrating life and abundance?  Have you ever heard the phrase, "eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die?"  Well that's the general idea.  Have fun or what's all the living for anyway?

That's all for this time!  I'll post more factoids and interesting things about our favorite holiday again tomorrow! 

Have a spooky day and dust off those skulls, they look a mess!