PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Spaceygirl
 
Comments: 12
Article views: 617
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all Spaceygirl's badges.
 

Halloween debunked

30 September 2013, 18:14
Every year around this time and into October, rumours abound about Halloween.  You’ll get emails, FB postings and BBM’s from the misinformed and downright ignorant about how ‘evil’ it is.  Let’s just set the record straight, shall we?

First of all, to give it it’s original name, Samhain,  from the Celtic tradition, which is pronounced as SOW-in or SAH-vin and translated means "End of Summer. It is known in Scotland and Ireland as Oíche Shamhna, while in Wales (and for Welsh Pagans like myself) it is Nos Calan Gaeaf.

The Celtic year was divided into two seasons: the light and the dark, celebrating the light at Beltane on May 1st and the dark at Samhain on November 1st. Therefore, the dark winter half of the year commences on this date. 

This was the time that cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating during the winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names.

Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person's fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

During some Celtic celebrations of Samhain, villagers disguised themselves in costumes made of animal skins to drive away phantom visitors; banquet tables were prepared and edible offerings were left out to placate unwelcome spirits. In later centuries, people began dressing as ghosts, demons and other malevolent creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This custom, known as mumming, dates back to the middle ages and is thought to have preceded “ trick-or-treating”.

Another theory for the origins of “trick or treating’ is that it derives from the custom of the poor who would visit the houses of wealthier families and receive pastries called soul cakes in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of the homeowners’ dead relatives.

Known as souling, the practice was later taken up by children, who would go from door to door asking for gifts such as food, money and ale.

As with other great Pagan holidays, Christianity found a way to claim it. (Mostly in an attempt to make the new religion more acceptable by it’s Pagan converts) In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honour all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween.

The following day, November 2, is All Souls Day, a day when the priest wears black, the church is draped with mourning, and the faithful pray for the souls of their departed, with the hope of shortening their time in Purgatory. So if you want to be all pedantic about it, the origin of the name of Halloween is Christian!

You will note that nothing so far has anything to do with Satanism.  So where does this idea come from?  When Anton LaVey formed the Church of Satan in the mid-20th century, he stipulated three holidays for his version of Satanism, the first organised religion to ever label itself Satanic. The first and most important was the Satanist's own birthday. The other two are Walpurgisnacht (April 30) and Halloween (October 31).

Both dates were often considered "Witch holidays" in popular culture and thus erroneously linked with Satanism. LaVey adopted Halloween less because of any inherent Satanic meaning in the date and more as a joke on those who had superstitiously feared it.

So, yes, Satanists do celebrate Halloween as one of their holidays. However, this is a recent adoption. Halloween had been celebrated long before Satanists had anything to do with it.

More importantly from a South African point of view, is that Samhain is NOT celebrated at the end of October but at the end of April. It’s all to do with the seasons. Pagans have a ‘wheel of the year’ and in the Southern Hemisphere, this is opposite to what the Northern Hemisphere celebrates, making our holidays six months after our Northern cousins celebrate them.

To debunk further,

Pagans do not believe in the Devil. Satan exists within the Abrahamic faiths, ie Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Halloween is not “Christmas for Satanists” nor is it the ‘Devils birthday’

Halloween is not Satanic in origin, nor was it ‘invented by the Illuminati’

The modern idea of celebrating Halloween is hardly evil. It has since become largely a secular event. If you were cynical you could accuse it of being a marketing ploy for the retail industry, American and therefore redundant to South Africans but spending some time with your kids and having fun as a family could hardly be accused as evil, now could it?

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
MarkH
Jackie Selebi and Clive Derby-Lew...

With regards to the death of Jackie Selebi and the continued incarceration of Clive Derby-Lewis I would like to make a couple of points, and I’m no lawyer - just a bystander. Read more...

1 comments 21 views
Submitted by
Alessio Petrone
Proof of GOD's Existence

It is commonplace now in the year 2015 for all and sundry to debate the existence of GOD….many believe in been Atheists. Read more...

2 comments 62 views
Submitted by
KingIshman Busa
Call for corruption register

A humble call is hereby made for our government to their seriousness in fighting corruption in SA Read more...

0 comments 4 views
Submitted by
Zama Moyo
Africa Must Stop Rising and Start...

My contention is that, unless two issues are acknowledged and attended to, we may find ourselves punting 2016 as Africa’s big year, then 2017, and so on. Read more...

6 comments 302 views
Submitted by
Gideon Joubert
Don't disarm my SAPS

Campaigning for the disarmament of citizens is a repellent pastime in itself, and is but a degree removed from demanding that the police themselves be disarmed as well.  Read more...

15 comments 248 views
Submitted by
MWF
Greed leading the blind

People of South Africa. I know we have our differences and we have a tainted past, but come on? Let’s not cripple our nation, just to prove a point to each other?  Read more...

2 comments 143 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Games on Sale!

Save up to 60% on selected games. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.