Hallowe’en: From community celebration to sabbath of evil By Donyae Coles |
On 24 October 2016 | In Occulture
Pumpkin patch, photo by Dan Bergstrom
As the days get shorter, the nights longer, and the temperature drops, most of us begin to look forward to Hallowe’en or Samhain, one of the days most celebrated by of occultniks of all flavours. 1 Many are likely used to hearing that the fall celebration is “the Devil’s birthday” or some variation thereof that alludes to the holiday being “evil. ” Oddly enough, it is in a way the “Devil’s birthday, ” but not in the way that people opposed to the celebration think.
Hallowe’en is a much misunderstood holiday that, coincidentally, is shrouded in a lot of mystery and misinformation. There are many things that people believe about the holiday that are based on historical fact, while many other things grow out of misunderstood beliefs. Various myths, legends, and folktales have been ascribed to the day and are now just considered to be part of the celebration, even though the roots of it lie elsewhere. From why apples are a seasonal favourite, to the idea of witches and their black cats, when it comes to Hallowe’en, few things in it’s long history are as clear as they seem.
There are, however, some truths to the holiday that are undeniable. These are best summed up by Lisa Morton in her book, Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween:
The unassailable facts of Halloween are fourfold. First, it boasts both a Pagan and Christian history. Second, its position in the calendar — at the end of autumn/beginning of winter — means it has always served in part as a harvest celebration. Third, it is related to other festivals of the dead around the world, and so has always had a somber, even morbid element. Finally, however, its combination of pagan New Year celebration and joyful harvest feast have also given it a raucous side, and it has almost always been observed with parties and mischief-making. ” 2
Still, even within these four guidelines, there’s a lot of misinformation that needs to be unpacked.
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