Halloween and Pagans
A Sinister Jack-o'-Lantern
Halloween Mummers in England
Early Irish and Scottish Halloween
In the early days of Halloween, the Irish had a different concept for the holiday. It was a time when the Irish peasants were very poor. They would disguise themselves in costume and go to the rich houses. Then they would ask for food as a bribe for not doing any tricks. It was a start to doing trick or treats.
It was called a "mummers ritual." One man would be called Muck Olla, meaning trickster. The leader was called Lair Bhan, meaning white mare. This would then give the people that they asked bad or good fortune depending on what treats they received. That is according to the book, "The Halloween Book" by Jack Maguire.
Some people say that Muck Olla was a druid priest. Others say that it was the name of a god. Still others say that there were no costumes like that being worn in Ireland. They say some people were just having fun with the idea.
Another source states that in Ireland and Scotland they would wear costumes to make the spirits think that they were one of them. Scottish and Irish youths once did pranks on farmers before there was trick or treat. They would play tricks on them like taking their farm tools inside.
In the 1800s children in Ireland would get fruits and nuts. In Scotland the children would sing songs, and do tricks or jokes for people. In turn they would get different nuts and dried fruit.
Halloween is a holiday that many look forward to. They want a parade and fun if they are too old to go trick or treating. If they are children they look forward to getting a lot of candy. The recent turn to not trusting the neighborhood has put a bit of a damper on trick or treating activities. But it still goes on at least with friends and family.
Some people love it and want to have parties. Others as they say like to try and ignore it as much as possible. They are said to stay home and turn the lights down so that no one will know they are there. They would not want to be thought of as cheap by the neighborhood. Least of all they would not want to get a trick for not leaving out any treats for the kids.
Some Usual Dangers
The first danger to be thought of is fire. Some people like to have the romantic touch of candles with the jack-o'-lanterns that they make. Otherwise, it just does not look the same. It can be dangerous to have candles burning, etc. as many know. The other danger is bonfires. If you do decide to have them, it could get away from you and go on to create a fire. It is best to be careful.
Getting Hit by a Car
Children are twice as likely to get hit at Halloween time according to one study that was done. It makes sense since there are so many kids out that night and it is dark. Many police departments have safety videos out for Halloween time.
Bobbing for Apples
Little Known Dangers
The danger is to the cats themselves. The SPCA does not sell cats on Halloween because they don't want them to be hurt. That is the policy that I have seen. They wait until after the holiday. You should keep any black cats in before and after Halloween to be safe. Some people do think it is a cute idea to get a black cat then. They do not want something bad to happen.
There were reports of black cats missing around the time of Halloween. They can be the object of attack or a possible occult sacrifice.
You should keep all of your pets in another room for trick or treat or parties. The candies and cakes are not good for them. Chocolate can be poison for dogs. All of the attention to the pets can be too much for them.
Animal Eyes Contact Lens
These novelty contact lens can actually harm your eyes. There is an article out now about using snake eyes with your costume. There have been warnings for these before. That is even though it may be possible to find some safe ones.
What could be more fun than apple bobbing? Many people love to have the quest of bobbing for apples. If one does not get one, it could look bad for you. The trouble is that it could actually be dangerous. The danger is that dirty water could get your eye infected according to doctors.
I always thought it was a scary thing when I was a kid. I was afraid of putting my head down in the water. I don't think I am the only kid that is a little afraid of it. It was used as a divination test in the past. It was to see if you were going to get what you wanted in life.
Playing with these boards that are sold as a game could lead to some trouble in the household. People have reported contact with some different spirits that they did not want around. It could lead to something that you have no way of knowing how to handle.
Parades and crowds can create a lot of confusion. You need to watch out for yourself. The Castro Street parade in San Francisco is billed as a fun event to go to. You still need to watch out for male or female nudity. The police are not able to control the whole crowd. It may occur at other Halloween parades or events. So it is a good idea to watch out for your children.
Lovely Black Cat
- Washingtonpost.com: Fears Prompt Shelters to Suspend Cat Adoptions for Halloween
The reasons shelters decided not to let people adopt the black cats for Halloween.
The Big Dangers
The worst and dreaded danger of Halloween is of course, a trick if someone does not get a treat. Many people do actually hand out treats because they don't want to be regarded as suspect or to have anything bad happen to them. There may not be much danger in some neighborhoods or anything bad happening. But in some there could be some fairly severe consequences. If not that bad, it would be in the least extremely annoying. Imagine running out of candy and what could happen.
No one wants their things to be damaged or their home to be attacked. Frequent joke tricks include using shaving cream on cars or deciding to toliet paper the shrubs and other things on the lawn. It could be worse. Some never know who it is that did something nasty since they do it under the cover of night.
Is it really a good idea for kids to get the idea that they can go to different houses and ask for treats or they will do a trick? It is just food for thought. There is a lot of noise around then. There are a lot of kids with nothing to do in some neighborhoods.
It can also be just the annoyance of having little trick or treaters coming to your house that you do not know or especially like.The word is that you can get rid of many by offering fruits and vegetables instead. Dressing as scary witches might help also. Parents also need to be careful where they send or take their children on Halloween. Halloween parties are also not always that fun if you do not really know the people.
Then there could also be other celebrations you do not really want to participate in but get caught up in. Everyone does not want to dress up in costumes for Halloween at work. It can look as if you are refusing to participate in the fun.
The little pumpkins look harmless and like a lot of fun. But in the encyclopedia they are listed as an ancient symbol for a damned soul. It is just something to think about.
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat
- The Story of Jack O' Lantern - Enchanted Hollow
The story is here about the jack o' lanterns.
The Last of the Druids
Halloween as Samhain Revisited
Samhain is a Celtic or pagan holiday. The origins of this holiday may be not quite the thing that some would like it to be. It is a lot to take in. Even though it is fun for people now, it may not always have been the harmless holiday that we know.
The Roman Caesar did not like at all what the druids were doing with human sacrifices. The druids were the priests for the Celts. That is why the Romans went to wipe out the druids. They wanted the practice stopped. I don't think it was all made up. They have found the bodies that were sacrificed. National Geographic had articles about the bodies that they found. The Romans would let other countries that were conquered keep their own gods to worship but not for the druids.
In the conquest of Gaul Caesar said that the Celts claimed descent from Father Dis, a god of death and the underworld. Each day would begin at night. The idea they say to the Celts was that darkness was not a bad thing.
At Samhain in myth the Tuatha De Danann, the forces of light, would battle the Fomoire, forces of chaos or darkness.
That is according to Geo Athena Trevarthen from Phi Kappa Phi forum at the University of Edinburgh.
The ancient Celts would leave out bowls for the ghosts to keep them from doing harm.
Some say that at the bonfires they would have soul cakes. It would be a lottery and whoever got the burnt soul cake would be the human sacrifice. That is one of the legends.
Some do say that after Caesar got rid of the druids there were still some that escaped.
History of Samhain - It is done from a pagan point of view.