Monday, October 29, 2007

I saw a poster in a window today saying "happy halloween". Struck me as a bit odd. Halloween (or hallowe'en) is short for All hallow Even. Initially, it was a pagan festival, but the pope messed around with All Hallows Day and moved this to November the 1st to coincide with the pagan festival. Thus, All Hallows Even became the night prior. In Celtic cultures Samhain, or in scottish gaelic Oidhche Shamhna, was a time when ghosts and spirits could contact the physical world. It was the end of the harvest and prep time for winter. Superstition held that the dead could affect the course of the crop or the livestock and they were placated by bonfires with cattle bones thrown on and masks representing the spirits.

When we guised back in the day with a candle in a carved neep (turnip), dooked for apples and got covered in treacle eating pies hanging from strings, there was always something spooky, and supernatural about the whole thing. In my mind i remember it as always dark, with a haar hanging in the air. It is so odd to see pumpkins at the vegetable shop down the americanised, and weird for some reason to see happy hallowe'en signs.

Perhaps the 'happy' bit related to the day of the dead (dia de los muertos) which also takes place on all saints day. This is a time where the dead but also life are celebrated in Mexico, by calacas (skull masks), gifts of sugar skulls and of course tequila, mezcal and pulque form a fairly important part too.

Who knows? anyways...

Have a spooky one. Knowwhatimean?

No comments: