jump to last post 1-17 of 17 discussions (71 posts)

Scrutinizing Hub of the Day - The Pagan Roots of Trick or Treating?

  1. cfin profile image75
    cfinposted 2 years ago

    The hub of the day accolade has become a huge joke. To emphasize this I want to scrutinize todays hub.
    The hub states the following misstatements of fact.
    "its celebration and traditions are primarily American, and the people in other parts of the world generally dislike its celebration.": False. All false

    "many of the traditions we currently practice (such as carving Jack O'Lanterns) originate with the Catholic Church": False - Jack O lanterns originate in Ireland with the carving of turnips and have no relevance to the church. They later began to use pumpkins on immigration to the US, as pumpkins were cheaper. Even the term Jack O Lantern is Irish and is named as a the figure Stingy Jack.

    "Trick or Treat Originates in Gaelic Poverty" - This is completely false. Trick or treating is factually proven to have originated in  Scotland. The term Gaelic is just an adjective. It is not a place or group of people. It literally means something Celtic. I.e Gaelic Football, Gaelic games from Ireland or Scotland. These traditions were NOT from times of poverty.

    "During the days of Gael, the country came under attack": False - What country? There is no country named Gael and there never has been. Is this fictional?

    "A family, without help, may have to survive a winter eating only a single type of food. ": Is this past tense or present tense? I am confused. Please correct as it seems like the people of this "Gael" are impoverished nowadays? The paragraph continues as such.

    "you're not likely to find this information freely online": False. This is all made up hear say that is offensive to my culture and country. Yet this is hub of the day? Maybe Ireland should claim thanksgiving as our own as some American immigrants celebrate it there, therefore it's Irish now. How's that for offending someones history?

    "The practice of dressing up for Halloween may have originated with the Pagans -- or with the Catholics. Sources don't come to a clear answer to this question": Sources? There are thousands of factual sources that show that the Celts dressed up on Halloween for thousands of years.

    "Ultimately it has become an American holiday which isn't celebrated in other parts of the world.": Yes, because the fact that Ireland is celebrating this Irish holiday means that it is now owned by America. How ignorant.

    "While the Catholics took cultural traditions from the people of Gael, this is not entirely a pagan holiday and therefore doesn't carry the connotations of witchcraft that many people are familiar with." : Again what are the people of the Gael? If you are referring to Ireland, where people were catholic for over 1,000 years before the creation of America, where they celebrated Halloween as catholics prior to bringing it to the USA, then is Ireland this Gael you speak of? Not entirely a pagan holiday? Well yes because the Irish invented it as pagans, continued to celebrate it as Christians and still do. But sure, it's an American holiday.

    I hate to single out anyone but this is unacceptable and offensive to me and many other Irish people. And I only skimmed over this. It disappointed me too much to continue. People need to think before claiming the cultural days of others as their own. Just because....you know....."claimed"

    1. NateB11 profile image93
      NateB11posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I'm not going to lie, I've never been a fan of Hub of the Day and I've gotten very irritated at some of the Hubs that have been up there that are inaccurate, among other things.

      1. cfin profile image75
        cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Thanksgiving is Irish!! wink I have friends who celebrate it there and instead of eating a turkey they eat a goose. Irish holiday!!

      2. SusanSaies profile image81
        SusanSaiesposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        For some reason, Hubpages wants to highlight a particular hub every day. That's fine, but why not also have a running thread in the forum that gives the reasons why a hub a chosen. I would really like to know the thinking behind the choices, especially since some do contain less than perfect grammar or inaccuracies.

        1. Lionrhod profile image92
          Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Good idea. It might even help us improve our hubs.

        2. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
          Phyllis Doyleposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          That is a good idea. Whoever chooses a HOTD should account for it with their reasoning.  In the case of the hub we are referring to, I can see that it is well-written, has nice photos and formatted nicely. Those reasons could be given by the staff member who chose the hub as HOTD, along with the statement that the hub is highly inaccurate on factual history.

          1. cfin profile image75
            cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            It tenses an entire paragraph wrong to make it look like the people of the fictional country of Gael are currently under attack and poverty stricken.

            1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
              Phyllis Doyleposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Funny - as much as I delve into and wander through history, I have never visited the country of Gael. lol  It must be quite a unique place.  lol

              1. cfin profile image75
                cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                It's full of hobbits and leprechauns. They ride unicorns and everything is American there.

                1. Patty Inglish, MS profile image88
                  Patty Inglish, MSposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  +1

      3. LuisEGonzalez profile image79
        LuisEGonzalezposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        You should have seen one "Hub of The Day" about photography (bird photography I think) that came out a few months ago...it made me want to quit the practice!.

        1. cfin profile image75
          cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          And imagine when you are an expert in the field and some people actually go ahead and tell you that your FACTS are wrong and their made up nonsense is right. eg. Trick or treating is first documented in Scotland in 1895, but is said to have gone on for hundreds of years beforehand in a different similar respect. Then a hub states that it was invented in the USA in the 1920's. They delete my comments from their hub and argue with me about their "facts".

          1. Lionrhod profile image92
            Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Trick-or-treating could be likened to first-footing and many other similar practices. Many of these are potentially as ancient as our species.

            1. cfin profile image75
              cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              But America invented our species! Fact!! Because the internet said so.

              I guess my point is, that these people are "claiming" Halloween as their own. As an American day.

        2. Cardisa profile image90
          Cardisaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Luiz, do you remember the one the "WTF" in the title?

          1. LuisEGonzalez profile image79
            LuisEGonzalezposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Yes and I couldn't stop laughing (or cringing) about it for days.

    2. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
      Phyllis Doyleposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      cfin, I applaud you for setting the record straight. I read the hub and am astounded/outraged that it was chosen as HOTD.  This really is proof that someone on staff does not know history and it is an embarrassment to the whole community of HubPages. I would copy and paste my comment on that hub here, but, I think that is not allowed. All the information in the hub is either taken out of context or a total fantasy.

      The sad thing is: some people in parts of the world do not know the true history of Halloween and actually believe what that absurd hub states.

      Edit: cfin, I forgot to wish you Happy Thanksgiving.  lol

      1. cfin profile image75
        cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Even more sad, Phyllis, is the fact that there are numerous other hubs with the same nonsense. When I correct the "facts" they yell at me and then delete my comments. They genuinely think it's an American holiday and are disillusion in the extreme. One hub reads that trick or treating was invented in the 1920's in the USA and the author went on to tell me that she saw it on TV.

        1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
          Phyllis Doyleposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          cfin, I would greatly appreciate it, if you have the time, to read my hub on Halloween traditions. I know I cannot promote my own hubs with a link here, but I would like your opinion on what I wrote - I know that you have the facts straight, so really would like to know if I have spewed any misconceptions to readers. I believe what I wrote is factual, but still would like an honest opinion. Thanks.

  2. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    I hate to single out a specific hubber, but I have to agree that material is all wildly inaccurate.

    1. cfin profile image75
      cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      When people purposefully try to "claim" holidays as their own culture and then hubpages praises them for it, I feel I have no choice. Facts are facts. Lies are lies. Hubpages has hit a new low. Cinco de Mayo!! I saw some people in Sweden celebrated it. It must be a Calvinist,  Swedish holiday now. I better publish that on Hubpages to make it true.

  3. LindaSmith1 profile image60
    LindaSmith1posted 2 years ago

    I did research on this topic several years ago.  In agreement with the fact that the hub is full of inaccuracies.  Why does this qualify as a Hub of The Day??   http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/acco … d_22634413

    Apparently, accuracy when it comes to facts, is not a requirement.  Lots of pics, a poll, a video.  Word count is probably 1000 or more words.

  4. LindaSmith1 profile image60
    LindaSmith1posted 2 years ago

    I worked with a woman, from another country, who hated Halloween as it is done here in the USA.  In her country, it was a day for family to get together and go to the cemetery to pay their respects to their loved ones who have passed away.

    1. cfin profile image75
      cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      All saints day. Some people in the US also do this. The world would be a better place if people didn't generalize on "nationality". I have met people who celebrated Halloween in Brazil. My other flat mate from Brazil hated it. It just depends on the groups within nations. In Ireland people also use fireworks on Halloween. Some people don't celebrate it there either as they see it as having pagan origins. Yet at the same time, most Christians there continued to celebrate it for the last 1,500 years or so after Christianity. It depends on the person I guess. Overall, some people use pumpkins, some use turnips there but 99% of people celebrate with trick or treating, bonfires and fire works.

    2. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
      Phyllis Doyleposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      'Day of the Dead' in Mexico is a beautiful and loving holiday held on October 31 to honour and remember departed loved ones.

  5. CuAllaidh profile image80
    CuAllaidhposted 2 years ago

    ya I agree about this Hub being WAY off base, I've done considerable research into the roots of Halloween as well, and ya the author isn't even remotely close to the truth in pretty much any of the points raised.

  6. relache profile image88
    relacheposted 2 years ago

    That Hub is vastly inaccurate and does a major disservice to both Pagans and non-Pagans.

    1. CuAllaidh profile image80
      CuAllaidhposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      As a history geek I agree it's a huge disservice.

      1. cfin profile image75
        cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I think it may have been an attempt to "own" Halloween either with religious or nationalistic intent.

  7. SheilaMilne profile image91
    SheilaMilneposted 2 years ago

    I can vouch for the turnip jack o'lanterns as I remember all too well carving them out in my grandmother's kitchen.  I imagine one of the reasons for the popularity of pumpkins, apart from being cheaper, is that they are much easier to carve, believe me.

    I was brought up in Dublin many years ago and we did do trick or treating, bonfires and fireworks.

    All Saints (Toussaint in France) is something different.  They don't really do Hallowe'en in France though commercial enterprises are trying to push it.

  8. ChristinS profile image94
    ChristinSposted 2 years ago

    I'm American and I'm offended by how factually inaccurate today's hub is.  Halloween as it is today is a rich blend of traditions from history and is not remotely "American" in origin.  For many of us, it also holds deeper spiritual meaning as well.  In our home, we combine the "day of the dead" with Halloween and use it as a time for fun and candy for the kids, but also a big family gathering with an altar to honor our ancestors.  That tradition is 3,000 years old and has roots in the Aztec culture long before Catholicism took over.  Of course de los muertos is a different holiday, but anyway...

    Today's hub is beyond just a little factually inaccurate - it was a train wreck of wrong information.

    1. cfin profile image75
      cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      It is amazing how the Aztec and the Celts celebrated in a similar way (for thousands of years) on a similar day. I am mildly aware of this, yet I cannot comment too heavily without further research. Look into Newgrange also and you will find striking similarities to monuments of the Aztec and Irish Celts back as far as 3,500 BC in relation to the solstice also. Thank you ChristinS.

  9. Dressage Husband profile image80
    Dressage Husbandposted 2 years ago

    I think like all of the others here that if HP are paying professional editors to scrutinize our Hubs, which unless you opt out they are! Then the Hub of the Day should be factually accurate and the least that Paul E and his staff can do is to thoroughly check the facts and grammar of the Hub of the Day.

    Doing this would delay the publication by all of about a half hour and the effect of the better quality and lesson to other Hubbers? Priceless. The Hub of The Day can and should always be exemplary in my opinion.

    I agree that this Halloween Hub was wildly inaccurate. I remember the use of turnips, which we all carved before pumpkin became widely available. I used to hate it as carving turnips is extremely difficult (I am English).

  10. Lionrhod profile image92
    Lionrhodposted 2 years ago

    Wow. I'm afraid to look. Does the hub even mention Samhain?

    1. cfin profile image75
      cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Technically it's Oiche Shamhna. Samhain would be the month of November in the Irish language.It's just that modern day English speakers have "altered" it, just like they use the word "Gaelic" regularly without knowing that would be like saying "Do you speak romance language" or "Do you speak a dialect of Germanic".

      Give it a read. They refer to a land of "Gael" (fictional? or ignorance?)and some very odd things.  I don't expect people to know those things though, but outright claiming another cultures holidays out of ignorance is not okay.

  11. Rachael Tate profile image81
    Rachael Tateposted 2 years ago

    I used to carve turnips when I was growing up (northern England).  Pumpkins are more readily available in the supermarkets now and far easier to carve! Agree regarding other points as well.

    1. cfin profile image75
      cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Around the creation of Halloween, Ireland, Scotland and England were not even really "nations", so I think it's wonderful that we now share so many traditions smile If anything, Halloween shares it's heritage across Ireland and the UK.

      Turnips are much more creepy big_smile But hey, according to the hub of the day, only Americans enjoy and celebrate Halloween wink

    2. CMHypno profile image87
      CMHypnoposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      We used to carve turnips too when I was a child.  In Devon in the 1960's there were no pumpkins on sale.  There was no trick or treating either. We used to bob for apples and pin the tale on the donkey.  All very low key compared to the marketing fest of today.

      There are many good hubs on Halloween customs on HP, so why choose this one?

  12. LindaSmith1 profile image60
    LindaSmith1posted 2 years ago

    Rachel:  Turnips!!! Oh I miss my grandmother turnips and turnip greens that she use to cook so often.

  13. Valerie Bloom profile image87
    Valerie Bloomposted 2 years ago

    Wow. That article is bizarre from the very first sentence! I mean, the premise stated in the first sentence is shockingly, offensively ignorant of history and culture. It's upsetting to think that someone may read that "information," thinking they're learning something...And that others may read it and conclude that HubPages is not a good source of high-quality articles. I would have expected those entrusted with determining the Hub of the Day to take more care. Poor choices harm all of the excellent writers who use this platform.

    1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
      Phyllis Doyleposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I so agree with you, Valerie. It is an embarrassment to the whole community.

  14. Lionrhod profile image92
    Lionrhodposted 2 years ago

    @cfin, to continue what I was saying on the hub itself, my path holds that this celebration was based in astrological (and climate based) roots when the elders decided it was time for the cattle to be slaughtered and the feast of bones to occur. The beginning of winter was associated with death/rebirth and the very practical necessity of keeping meat from spoiling.

    If you look at the Wheel of the Year (which I realize may not be historically accurate) sabbats occur 6 weeks apart from each other. (Obviously I need to make a hub on this!)

    Can you give me a translation for Oiche Shamhna? My command of the romance languages isn't bad, but I'll admit that my command of the varied forms of the Gaelic languages (lol as opposed to the country of Gael wherever the heck that's supposed to be) isn't the best. I'm assuming that Oiche isn't related to "eye" which would be my best guess from French/Spanish/Italian.

    I'm not a Celtic Recreationist, but I respect those who are. They often have a font of knowledge that helps those more eclectic pagans get down to the bottom of understanding.

    1. cfin profile image75
      cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I grew up in Ireland and am of Celtic descent. Technically anyone with an O' (son of) in their name is. What you stated is all correct regarding the astrology. Oiche (ee-ha) means Night/eve, Shamhna (How-Na meaning 'of November') . Literally the Eve of November. The Scottish invented the actual term Halloween much later to replace the Irish version of the name.

      1. Lionrhod profile image92
        Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Hmm...

        I'm intrigued. If you pronounce Shamhna as How-Na then is the pronunciation of Samhain as Sow-in (sow as in female pig not as sowing grain) correct?

        I'm a Heinz 57, so while I have ancestors who are Irish, Scots and British, I also have anything from Algonquin to Gypsy to Magyar Hun. And a bucketload of others across Europe. My spiritual path has strong tendencies to Welsh Celtic.

        1. cfin profile image75
          cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          The "H" makes the S silent. I have met people who would say it like Sow-Na, but it's rare enough. Similarly in Irish BH = V and there are many other oddities. Samhain is just Sow-an.

          1. Lionrhod profile image92
            Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Thank you!

            I WOULD like to get it right.

            BTW have you met Welsh Wheel of Fortune?

            "I'd like to buy a vowel." "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz" ("NO" buzzer).

            "How about a d?" "Ding! Ding! Ding, ding ding ding!"

            An l? "Ding! Ding ding! Ding ding ding ding ding!"

            It's our theory that the Welsh sold all their vowels to the
            Scotts. smile

            1. cfin profile image75
              cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Hahaha. The relationship of modern day Welsh to the Irish and Scottish languages is complex. I don't quite understand it actually. Scottish and Irish are so similar. Welsh.... it's welsh.

        2. CuAllaidh profile image80
          CuAllaidhposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          the gaelic languages are so very odd..... just because two words look similar mean nothing about their pronunciation, I've made some attempts to learn gaelic but my brain hurts from the lack of vowels

          1. cfin profile image75
            cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Try Irish. It's the most spoken Gaelic language and there are towns full of people who still only speak Irish. There is an Irish TV channel. TG4. South Park and breaking bad as Gaeilge.

          2. Lionrhod profile image92
            Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Yes. When you realize that "dd" is pronounced "th" well headspluck from there in.

            I don't blame the original speakers, I blame the folks who committed it to paper in a manner that wouldn't be understood by anyone else.

            1. cfin profile image75
              cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              And just a note. Nobody calls it Gaelic except people who don't know it wink Gaelic is actually a whole group of languages. You can easily and cheaply get books from Irish schools if you wanted to check it out. Welsh seems really difficult compared to Irish.

              1. CuAllaidh profile image80
                CuAllaidhposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I've actually tried out a few varieties of Gaelic, thus the use of Gaelic vs Irish or Welsh etc. Irish I got the best at but still a long way to go. I am in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms) my persona is a 5th century Irishman so I was trying to learn a little so I could somewhat understand some of the source material a lot of the info I want to research is in.

                1. cfin profile image75
                  cfinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  3 words is all you need. That's all you need. "Ni thuigim bearla" (Knee - Higim - Bear-la).

                  It means "I don't understand English."

                  1. CuAllaidh profile image80
                    CuAllaidhposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    That would be useful at events LOL

                2. Lionrhod profile image92
                  Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  *Giggle* My SCA persona is a woman who was stolen by the faeries. If anything is off with my dress, speech, or otherwise, or if I appear a bit strange (ya think?) that explains it. Who can prove otherwise?

                  1. CuAllaidh profile image80
                    CuAllaidhposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    LOL..... I use the excuse of the Vikings kept me as a prisoner for a few years so my habits got a little odd for both cultures and I don't quite fit into either..... big_smile

              2. Lionrhod profile image92
                Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Yes - I meant the Gaelic subset of languages. Irish, Scots and apparently Welsh are very different. So much else going on that right now isn't the time for language studies, but that may commence in the future, as I adore exploring language, and especially as an anthropological study - why certain languages have 15 words for shades of something, and others don't.

                1. chasmac profile image97
                  chasmacposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Just a slight correction if you don't mind. You appear to be confusing Scots (a Germanic language like English) with Scottish Gaelic.

  15. Lionrhod profile image92
    Lionrhodposted 2 years ago

    I'm finding it highly disconcerting that many of the comments on the hubs, are something like, "cool hub, we don't care if it's factual."

    That's about as useful as the folks who are suggesting that Halloween is owned by Satin, the Great Purveyor of Slippery Bedsheets.

    Ummm? Don't care if it's factual?

    Now if I write a hub that is a work of fiction, I'll mark it as such. Probably in the first line of the opening explanation.

    I truly despise shoddy research and made up facts presented as history.

    1. CuAllaidh profile image80
      CuAllaidhposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      That rankles me as well.... if you are writing a factual based article then use researched facts not made up gibberish.

    2. CuAllaidh profile image80
      CuAllaidhposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      The one that really baffled me is the one that stated "well documented doesn't equal true" and that "victors of wars write history".... I think she was actually suggesting that after Ireland beat the US in the Irish American war that Ireland claimed it invented Halloween.... but I am not sure on that one..... *please not my tongue is firmly in cheek in this comment*

      1. Solaras profile image90
        Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        That was a long and brutal war, culminating in Ireland anointing JFK as the ruler of America for 1000 days.

        During his reign many great changes were made.  Halloween is a forgotten casualty of that cultural revolution.

        1. CuAllaidh profile image80
          CuAllaidhposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          That is the best response anyone could ever make.... you win 1000 internets... spend them wisely

          1. Solaras profile image90
            Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            As a Fitzgerald I shall spend my 1000 internets on Guinness Stout and Jameson whiskey.  Free drinks for eveyone. Erin go Bragh!

    3. Rhonda Lytle profile image86
      Rhonda Lytleposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Such comments as you mention indicate to me a mutual fan club so to speak.  I would have serious doubts as to them even reading the entire thing.  It appears as a case of support your friends, like in high school where they go along friendship lines with little thought given to anything else.

  16. Lionrhod profile image92
    Lionrhodposted 2 years ago

    Mmmm Guiness! What a great way to celebrate a long night of helping with the public Samhain ritual.

    1. Solaras profile image90
      Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      How was that - did you end up having to pay to entertain the folks?

      1. Lionrhod profile image92
        Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Nope, didn't have to pay. We worked that out.

        Had a great time and the ritual went well. Lots of new folks showing up too.

        1. Solaras profile image90
          Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Awesome! All's well that ends well. Now when are you coming to Atlanta to read my fortune?

          Free Guinness and all that...

          1. Lionrhod profile image92
            Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            LOL actually I'll be passing through Atlanta next weekend, for my niece's wedding.

  17. WriteAngled profile image91
    WriteAngledposted 2 years ago

    With respect to the Celtic languages, they can be divided into two groups. The first is Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic and Manx. I have been told by speakers of these languages that they can more or less understand others from within that group.

    The second group is Welsh, Cornish and Breton. These have a number of similar words but I think there are more differences between them than there are between the languages in the first group.

    As for Welsh vowels, people who have not learnt it don't realise that w and y are vowels in Welsh. Also, they are unaware that it is in part agglutinative, i.e. new words can be made by sticking words together. Hence the silly jokes made about the language.

    Yes, Welsh is difficult to learn in terms of grammar, especially because the formal written languages uses patterns quite different from those in the spoken language, and there are some differences between North and South Walian patterns too. Also quite a lot of the words do not have Germanic, Latin or Greek roots, therefore there are fewer "hooks" to aid learning vocabulary if you learn Welsh as a second language.

    However, as far as orthography goes, it is spoken pretty much as written, with small regional differences in pronunciation. You just need to make the effort to learn the orthography. After all, the orthography of any language is purely a matter of convention! At least you don't have to learn a completely new alphabet as you would with Asian and some East European languages!

 
working