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Last Updated: Jul 13, 2017 URL: http://mckendree.libguides.com/halloween Print Guide RSS Updates

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Origins of Halloween

 

Snap-Apple Night, painted by Daniel Maclise in 1833, shows people feasting and playing divination games on Halloween in Ireland.

"Snap-Apple Night global philosophy" by Daniel Maclise - 1833 painting by Daniel Maclise. Via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maclise.snap.apple.night.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Snap-Apple_Night_globalphilosophy.PNG#/media/File:Snap-Apple_Night_globalphilosophy.PNG


Today's Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which are believed to have pagan roots. Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that "there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived". Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival ofSamhain", which comes from the Old Irish for "summer's end". Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in) was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic calendar and was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It was held on or about 31 October – 1 November and kindred festivals were held at the same time of year by the Brittonic Celts; for example Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany). Samhain and Calan Gaeaf are mentioned in some of the earliest Irish and Welsh literature. The names have been used by historians to refer to Celtic Halloween customs up until the 19th century, and are still the Gaelic and Welsh names for Halloween.  Read more....


 Halloween, Wikipedia, web, retrieved 10.17.15

     

    Halloween Unmasked

    From National Geographic: Halloween Unmasked:  http://channel.nationalgeographic.com.. Standard YouTube License.  YouTube, retrieved 10.27.15

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