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RE: Halloween

Poster: Karen Marsh-Lovvorn <marshk@ipas.org>

In modern-day England they celebrate "Guy Fawkes Day" by setting huge
bonfires and burning "Guy Fawkes" in effigy.  I'm not wholly familiar
with the historical details, but a British friend told me Guy Fawkes was
a rabble rouser who made Parliament quite unhappy and got into a great
deal of trouble with them. Apparently that has evolved into QUITE a
party over the years!  (A bunch of drunken Brits running around,
screaming & setting things on fire - sounds like a party to me!!!)  They
don't celebrate Halloween in Germany or Austria.

Halloween (Samhein - pronounced "Sah-when") is the traditional Celtic
new year.  On Samhein night, the "veils between the worlds" are said to
be the thinnest, and the spirits of the dead walk the night.  Like many
formerly pagan holidays, it evolved into a Christian holy day(s) - All
Souls & All Saints - over the years. (That happened a lot - both
Christmas & Easter were formerly pagan holidays too, and frankly,
Christmas was even scarier than Halloween - remind me to tell you how
Odin the All-Father ties in with Santa Claus one of these days)!

Modern-day pagans in the U.S. still celebrate this as a harvest
festival/new year celebration with bonfires, costumes, dancing, chanting
& feasting.  "Fire jumping" (dancing around the fire & jumping over it,
costume & all) is rather popular. 

Interesting to note that there are so many fire-related things
associated with this particular holiday - I would be curious to delve
further into that!


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	burginde@juno.com [SMTP:burginde@juno.com]
> Sent:	Thursday, October 22, 1998 1:13 PM
> To:	atlantia@atlantia.sca.org
> Subject:	Re: Halloween
> Poster: burginde@juno.com (deborah e burgin)
> >
> >Poster: jsrechts@imap.unc.edu
> >
> >Anyone know about Halloween traditions during the Middle Ages? I also
> >wonder if it's celebrated in Europe.
> >Just curious as I know nothing about this topic!
> >
> >As for what is currently celebrated in Europe (not the middle ages) -
> they do not have this tradition in Switzerland nor France.  Geneva,
> however, has a wonderful custom on Dec 11 when they celebrate
> repelling
> the evil Savoyard (French just across the border who have always had
> their eye on the wonderful valley that is Geneva) in a resounding
> victory
> (this occurred back in 1214 - think perhaps they like rubbing it in a
> bit
> much?).  There are all sorts of  stories and traditions to go along
> with
> it - the best being that bands of children go from door to door and
> sing
> songs about the fierce battle and the good Genevois, etc. in return
> for
> which they get coins, or fruit and cups of hot cider or tea - not bad,
> eh?
> I am helping Jarl Timoch and Countess Adelicia move to their new home
> somewhere in Va on this weekend - no candy for me!
> Gisele (who is, in fact, Genevois, and not French as some would have
> you
> believe)
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