Tricky Treats

It’s that time of year again – pumpkins, costumes and bags of sweets fill the shops as they look to make more and more money out of a seasonal celebration – youngsters will be soon knocking on doors all over the estate “trick or treating” and hoping for a bucketful of chocolate and the like.

With a recent survey showing that most people celebrating Halloween this year in the UK aren’t even sure what its is all about maybe it’s time to take a little look.

There is still debate about the exact origins, but it is likely that Halloween (All Hallows Eve) has a number of separate origins:

1. The Celtic / Pagan tradition: Samhain (or Sawin) marks the end of harvest and the move into winter time. It is also regarded as a time to remember and celebrate the lives of our ancestors who have gone before us. Sometimes costumes were worn to help put off any evil spirits that tried to hang around the celebrations.

2. The Catholic / Christian tradition. In 835AD the then pope set 1st November as All Saints Day, although it was probably being celebrated by Christians who had come from the Celtic traditions long before that. Again, All Saints was a festival to remember all those faithful Christians who had died – All Hallows Eve (Halloween) marked to begin those celebrations.

For anyone interested, here is  an interesting blog page about Halloween:

Whatever the origins – its now clear that the date is one where many young people (and some older ones) enjoy taking the opportunity to get into fancy dress and enjoy eating loads of sweets – at our house we’ve  got our bowl full ready to greet any visitors, so if you’re out this year trick or treating with friends and family just remember: Be safe …. Show Respect …. and may God who brings light to all places be in our hearts.


One thought on “Tricky Treats

  1. I thought you might find this, interesting from: The Community of Aidan & Hilda

    October 31 is, in modern terminology, Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, the night before All Hallow’s (Saint’s) Day.

    In the ancient celtic calendar October 31 was old years night, as the first day of the New Year was the beginning of Samhain (pronounced ‘sow-when’).

    One of the beliefs in Celtic spirituality, both Christian and pre-Christian, was that of ‘thin places’, sacred places where the veil between the spirit world and the physical world was ‘thin’. At this time, the beginning of the season of death (winter) the belief was that the veil between the two worlds became thin everywhere, so the spirits of both those who had died and all spirits of the Otherworld could come through to the physical world.

    The pre-Christian practice entailed lots of what has found its way into modern Halloween celebrations. But when the message of Christ came to the Celts, the celebration for the lives of those known who had died was something which was continued, and then the following day to celebrate the lives of all saints, and not just those of ones community.

    Although most of what we now know today of Halloween comes from the pre-Christian Pagan practices, to celebrate and remember the lives of those who have passed on is a good thing, as is reminding ourselves that the spirit world and the physical world are interconnected.

    The beginning of the season of death can draw us to remembrance of our own physical mortality, but also our spiritual eternity.

    Happy New Year!

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