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FOCUS: Halloween – Its Origins and Symbols
by Vikki Chatfield http://koolkookykreatures.etsy.com
“The leaves have burned to gold and red
The grass is brown the old year dead,
time of honouring ancestors who
But hang the harvest high, Oh see!
had passed away and also a time of
The candle constellations on the
Halloween Tree!”
divination to find out what the New
(The Halloween Tree – Ray Bradbury) Year would bring.
Autumn is a wonderful time of year The Celts did not fear their dead and
with crisp sunny mornings and indeed at Samhain would leave out
the smell of bonfires. My favourite food for their departed ancestors to
celebration of the whole year welcome them. It was believed that
also occurs in the autumn time – the dead could assist the living in
Halloween. spiritual and practical matters and
they were called upon at this time of
Although the name is a derivative year. The Romans also held a harvest
of “All Hallows Eve” or the eve of festival at this time of year called the
All Saints Day, which occurs in the Festival of Pomona, which was held
Christian calendar, the origins of the on st November. Pomona was the
celebration itself are distinctly Pagan goddess of the orchards and harvest
in nature. The ancient Celts held four and when the Romans introduced
fire festivals during the year, the last this idea to the Celts, it seems
one being “Samhain” (pronounced that both holidays were blended
Sow – een) that roughly translates to together.
“summers end”. This was the Celtic Whilst the idea of celebrating death
New Year celebration and it was a and the dead may seem a little odd
7 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2009
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