I'm a little bit of a killjoy when it comes to All Hallows Eve or Halloween. I don't believe that a holiday that revolves around children should be so focused on scary images of death. And then there's all that sugar. That said, trick or treating is just plain fun and a chance to dress up and visit neighbors and friends.
Here's the scoop on Halloween and why we celebrate it:
In general the whole custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840's by the Irish immigrants who were fleeing the country's potato famine.
Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.
The evil side of Halloween was pushed forward mainly by the church. The church maintained that the gods and goddesses and other spiritual beings of traditional religions were diabolical deceptions and manifestations of the devil. Therefore the customs associated with Halloween were always represented by the church as being evil - ghosts, human skeletons, symbols of the dead, Satan and other creatures such as witches.
On this week's Happy Healthy You! podcast we talk about spirits, but in a beautiful and loving context. We talk about connecting to our own spiritual selves and the infinite beings that we all are. Nothing is scary but it is hallowed to be sure.
Hope you have a safe, happy and healthy All Hallows Eve!