PLEASE NOTE:

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

 
Spaceygirl
 
Comments: 14
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
14 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Terence Wessels
Zuma must stay!

This guy has managed to do more damage to the ANC in five years, than anyone or anything before him. Read more...

13 comments 472 views
Submitted by
MikeFraser
The writing is on the wall

South Africans are taking back their power. Read more...

1 comments 228 views
Submitted by
Colleen
Death and beyond

When I was still a very young child and first became aware of death, my reaction was not one of fear, but one of curiosity with a sense of looking forward to one day when I die and finding out what it’s all about Read more...

134 comments 1233 views
Submitted by
Ryk
Stepping up on Drunk Driving

If I earned enough money, I would gladly pay someone to drive me around while I party with friends over the weekend. Read more...

10 comments 360 views
Submitted by
BurningdogZ
Orania . . . oh the horror

So I was fortunate to visit this “evil Afrikaner haven” known as Orania. Oh the horror. Oh the dismay. Oh the glorious disgust that failed to show in any way shape or form while visiting Orania.  Read more...

52 comments 3855 views
Submitted by
GakwiMashego

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

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
 
© 2014 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.