You may call October 31st Halloween, but others call it Samhain. (sow-en)
Samhain is one of the "high holy days" for Pagans and Wiccans. It is a day to celebrate the Harvest and to honor ancestors. It is a day when the veil between the world of the living and the dead is at its thinnest. It is also the Witches New Year.
The Catholic Church, in its push to defeat the "Pagans" and bring Christianity to the world decided in the 8th century (C.E.) to make November 1st All Saints Day. A day to celebrate the dead Saints and to eradicate the Pagan celebration which was already being celebrated on that day. It was originally named All Hallows, to show it was to honor the holy ones who were gone. They hoped to replace the Pagan celebration with a celebration the church sanctioned. (They did this with many Pagan holidays: Christmas was to replace the Yule celebration, Easter in exchange for Beltane.) This was a practice the Church had learned from Rome. Whenever the Empire conquered a new land, they adopted the Gods of that country into their pantheon.
Christianity was successful at establishing roots and becoming the religion of the masses, but it was never successful at eradicating Samhain. People still carved out frightening faces on gourds to frighten away evil spirits, they still wore masks to keep the spirits from recognizing them.
Nowadays, we dress our children in costumes, cute or frightening, depending on the age and taste of the child, and take them door-to-door for our friends and neighbors to fill a pillowcase with candy. It is the children's harvest.
Enjoy the fruits of autumn, but beware passing grave yards on All Hallows. Remember, it is the night the spirits walk around, looking for their loved ones.
There is a Barnes & Noble gift certificate waiting for a lucky person. Be sure to leave your comments along with your email address in the comment box.
Please be sure to visit all the participating blogs, to increase your chance to win. Each blog is unique. Some have fun flash fiction, personal stories, one of the blogs even has Halloween music.
October 22, 2012
Terri Rochenski -http://www.terrirochenski.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Eaton - http://www.jennifermeaton.com/
Ceri Hebert - http://cerihebert.wordpress.com/
October 23, 2012
Liv Rancourt - http://www.livrancourt.com
Denise Moncrief - http://denisemoncrief.blogspot.com/
Dani-Lyn Alexander -http://www.danilynalexander.com/blog.html
October 24, 2012
Mackenzie Crowne - http://mackenziecrowne.com/
Maggie Devine - http://maggiedevine.blogspot.com/
Liberty Blake - http://libertysspells.blogspot.com/
October 25, 2012
Darlene Henderson - http://dandwh.wordpress.com/
Em Epe - http://www.emeperomances.blogspot.com/
Clara Waibel - http://www.pomadness.blogspot.com/
Still Moments is giving away three grand prizes. Just leave a comment below and you'll be entered into a drawing for a beautiful handmade piece of jewelry and one of the books published by Still Moments. Three lucky winners will be selected from ALL the comments left on ALL the blogs in the hop. Please be sure to leave your email address in your comment below, so we will know how to contact you if you win!