Halloween Then and Now
To celebrate the rest of this article will be written in Black and Orange!
Some Halloween History:
Halloween has origins in the ancient Gaelic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in or sau-an), which is dervied from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end". A similar festival was held by the ancient Britons and is known as Calan Gaeaf (pronounced kalan-geyf). The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year".
The celebration has some elements of a festival of the dead. The ancient Gaels believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home whilst harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces.
Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.
Another common practise was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink. From wiki!
Even though It seems all fun: Did you know one year a girl received a Hersey chocolate bar to find out it had a poisonous chemical in it?
Here are some Halloween Safety Tips:
- Costumes should be light-colored and flame resistant with reflective strips so that children are more easily seen at night. (And remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards, and brooms, too!)
- Costumes should be short enough to avoid tripping.
- Remind children to keep away from open fires and candles. (Costumes can be extremely flammable.)
- Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover the eyes.
- Remind children to walk, slither, and sneak on sidewalks - not in the street.
- Explain to children that calls should be made along one side of the street first and then the other, and that it's best to cross the street only at intersections or crosswalks.
- Remind children to look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars, trucks, and low-flying brooms.
- Provide yourself or the children with a flashlight to see better and to be better seen.
- Have children plan their route and share it with you and the family.
- Trick or Treaters should travel in groups of four or five. Young children should be accompanied by an adult.
- Visit homes that have the porch light on.
- Make sure children know they should accept treats at the door and must not get into cars or enter the homes or apartments of strangers.
- Remind children not to eat their treats and goodies until they are examined by an adult at home. And candy should not be eaten if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.
- Make sure you and your children know where the Block Parent houses are located in the neighborhood.
- Set agreed-to boundaries with your children. Explain the importance of staying within them and arriving home on time. ~From Red Cross Canada