Hallowe’en is upon us!
I’ve been doing a little research on the actual event and it really is a mixed bag of tricks. From Samhain to All Hallows Eve to All Saints Day, this celebration moves through so-called pagan festivals to more conventional Catholic ones. Remember Pagan is a term foisted onto older religions by the more aggressive Christian fathers of the conquering peoples. It is originally a Middle English word that comes from the Latin word paganus which means civilian or country dweller. So the unsophisticated people who worshipped, often, more than one god, were referred to as country dwellers. The city dwellers would be more sophisticated and worship the popular god or gods of the state.
I had thought about writing extensive articles on the history of the holiday but during my research—which just kept getting more and more bogged down in the twists and turns of folk culture and religious attempts at expropriation—I found this amazing series of You Tube videos that just say it all.
So please watch these, a documentary from the History Channel, and be surprised to find out the story of our modern Hallowe’en celebrations is in fact a very young one.