To the surprise of basically everyone, it’s almost Halloween, and because of this, it’s almost November. Even though 2017 started approximately two days ago, soon we’ll only have two months of it left. So, because I knew nothing about the history of Halloween and I enjoy learning weird historical facts (and asking questions that my mom tells me to google and then write an essay on—WHICH I DON’T DO), I decided to do some digging (which was mostly me being on Pinterest.) And, lo and behold, Halloween started in Ireland. Hands up, who’s surprised?
Around 2000ish years ago, the Ancient Celts started a three-day festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in or sah-wen) (just go with it.)
It was in celebration of the end of the harvest and the end of their year, something like New Year’s Eve for us.
The Celts believed that the ending/beginning of the year made the separation of the spirit world and the physical world weaker, and thus spirits were able to wander the earth during those three days. (This logic seems pretty solid.) To help their ancestors and to keep bad spirits satisfied they left meals on their doorsteps. As further security, they dressed up in animal heads and skins to confuse the bad spirits. Does this mean that the Ancient Celts thought that ghosts looked like goats? The world will never know. Other traditions that they had were making big bonfires and carving turnips. Not pumpkins. Turnips.
When the Celtic people accepted the Gregorian calendar, Samhain became October 31. The Pope changed some names, making Samhain All Hallow’s Eve and adding All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day as November 1 and 2, respectively, as a replacement for the three days of Samhain.
Halloween made it over to America in the mid-1800s in the form of Play Parties.
People would gather together to tell ghost stories, sing and dance, and share stories of the dead. Not long after, when Irish immigrants started showing up with their own traditions, the last few pieces of Halloween more or less clicked into place.
So there you have it. End of history lesson.
I’m taking the month of November off, which means you (probably) won’t hear from me for five weeks. The reason for this can be explained by five things: (1.) The SAT. (2.) Four college visits in one week that will rival the (3-year) 5-year mission of the Enterprise. (3.) Thanksgiving. (4.) My brother and his roommate coming home for Thanksgiving. And (5.) all the schoolwork that I’ll need to catch up on because of 2, 3, and 4.
That being said, over this break I’m planning on working on blog stuff so that I’m ready for December. That way you’ll have good posts for one month instead of posts that sound like they’ve been written by someone who is crying hysterically and is also possibly on fire for two months (I’m spitballing here.) Quality over quantity, right?
So, bye until December 7, and have a great November! (This does not apply to people I know and/or live with. At least the first part. I suppose I can wish you a happy November if I must, though.)
Also here are these GIFs because I can’t imagine a situation when I would use them, but they’re hilarious.