. Halloween is a very spiritual holiday and through history has been one of great significance. Even today, it is the second largest commercial holiday after Christmas. Halloween began approximately 2,000 years ago as a Celtic celebration called Samhain, to mark the end of harvest, beginning of a new year; the night before Nov 1st, All Saints Day (called Hallows Eve).
The Celtics believed that on Halloween night, supernatural creatures would roam the earth and the souls of the dead would be permitted to revisit their former homes. Large fires were lit to ward off these creatures, guards would watch through the night to keep their villages safe, and others would wear ghoulish costumes when they had to venture out, to appear friendly to the ghosts. People believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead. Over the millennia the holiday transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes, parades and sweet treats for children and adults
Did You Know?
Trick-or-Treating (formerly Souling & Guising) originated in medieval Britain. On Nov 2, All Souls Day, the needy would beg for pastry, known as Soul Cakes. In return, they’d pray for people’s dead relatives (Souling). Guising was when people dressed up in costumes and accepted money for singing, poetry or telling jokes, In 19th century America, the Scottish & Irish revived the old traditions as Trick-or-Treat. It was more then about the tricks, until mid-1900’s when it took on the current kid-centered form.
. Since ancient times, ghost stories—tales of spirits who return from the dead to haunt the places they left behind—have figured prominently in the folklore of many cultures around the world. A rich subset of these tales involve historical figures ranging from queens and politicians to writers and gangsters, many of whom died early, violent or mysterious deaths.
The concept of a ghost, also known as a specter, is based on the ancient idea that a person’s spirit exists separately from his or her body, and may continue to exist after that person dies. Because of this, many societies began to use funeral rituals as a way of ensuring that the dead person’s spirit would not return to “haunt” the living.
Aside from actual ghostly apparitions, traditional signs of haunting range from strange noises, lights, odors or breezes to the displacement of objects, bells that ring spontaneously or musical instruments that seem to play on their own.
Though many ghost sightings have been reported at our nation’s White House , over the years, perhaps no political figure has made so frequent an appearance in the afterlife as Abraham Lincoln, who was killed by an assassin’s bullet in April 1865. Lincoln is said to have been seen wandering near the old capitol building, as well as his nearby law offices. At the White House, everyone from first ladies to queens to prime ministers have reported seeing the ghost or feeling the presence of Honest Abe.
The tradition of Jack O’Lanterns (carved pumpkins) at Halloween originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack tricked the Devil and trapped him using the shape of a cross, so that he could not escape until he promised to leave Jack alone and not claim his soul. Soon after, Jack died, the legend says that God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, however, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern.”, and on migrating to America, found the pumpkin to be a perfect fit.
It’s no wonder that the veil between the physical and spiritual world is reputed to be ‘thinner’ during Halloween.
Stay aware for signs from your loved ones!
Supporting you on your journey to a new normal.
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