Discussion in 'Religion' started by R1D2, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

    Happy Halloween!!!
    Let's discuss Halloween, the religious in and outs about the holiday? And how do you enjoy this day or why not?
    I heard halloween is a druid celebration. And what's the trick or treat originally.... Do we have a twisted view of this day now?
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The Wikipedia article on All Hallows' Eve will tell you everything you want to know about this day.

    "Hallows" is just an old word for "Saints," from the verb "hallow," "to make holy or to honor as holy; to consecrate." This is the Eve of All Saints' Day. All Saints' Day is celebrated with considerable pomp and passion in many majority-Catholic countries.

    But the minutiae of our over-the-top celebration, of a day that is barely acknowledged in many countries, is pure American. In other words, it's cobbled together from traditions from many different countries, plus some outright fiction added to make it more fun.

    We do that with all of our holidays. Foreign visitors remark that the two most recognized symbols of Christianity in the USA are Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

    Enjoy your candy.

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  5. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

    Halloween is deeper than a christian "angle". Halloween was sacred to the Druids because their sun-god receded to the underworld on October 31st.
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  7. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

    Kinda, kinda not. Samhain was and is a traditional Gaelic festival, and its origins in pre-Roman Celtic culture is attested through a few inscriptions and writings. But the druids weren't necessarily synonymous with the public religion of the ancient Celts, so I would be hesitant with using "druid" or "Druidic" to describe everything ancient and Celtic. There's still a great deal we don't know about how the Celts practised their religion, and what role the priestly caste had in their daily religious lives.

    In any case, we don't know much of what Samhain was supposed to have meant to the ancient Celts, what it signified, and what its celebration consisted of. By the time we have verifiable written descriptions of what the Irish did on Samhain, they had been Christianized. So it's not really easy to tell what parts are All Saint's Day and what parts are Samhain.

    In addition to the stuff I mentioned above, I'll also point out that Samhain wasn't a solar festival. In fact, the Celts don't really seem to have significant solar festivals. Their liturgical calendar, if the ones found could be described as such in the first place, as framed around lunar cycles and agricultural seasons.
    Further, the "dying and rising god" thing isn't as widespread as that. It's an idea extrapolated by James Frazer out of a few selected myths. But most of those myths pertain to the Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures and their environment. Europe north of the Alps has a very different climate, and the Celts wouldn't have necessarily shared in the same mythological patterns as the Romans and Greeks. This assumes that the Frazerian myth really can be extrapolated, and wasn't him constructing evidence to fit his theory on how religions evolved in ancient societies.

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