Monday, October 31, 2011

Mixed Bag Mondays - Happy All Hallow's Eve!

Happy Halloween wood sign from Jenaysdesigns
Tonight, all the little ones will be donning their costumes and heading off to collect treats. My grandkids are dressing up in a variety of costumes, including Cinderella, a lion, Phineas and Ferb, and the only truly traditional costume, a she-devil - although even that costume is more "cute" than "scary".  Seems that adults go more for the truly ghoulish costumes these days, and I've wondered at times if any but the ones from my generation or older even know the origins of Halloween.

St. Therese Inspirational Magnet
from GracefulRosaries
The word Halloween is derived from the phrase Hallow E'en or Hallow Even(ing), Hallow being synonymous with holy, and referring to the saints whose cumulative feast day is November 1st - All Saints Day (also known as All Hallows or Hallowmas). So Halloween is really the "eve" of All Hallows Day. It was a day when it was believed that demons and monsters roamed the earth, cavorting and terrorizing people one last night before the celebration of All Hallows - when attention focused on the most holy -saints and martyrs for the faith who were believed to rise again in spirit on this Holy Day, banishing the demons and monsters back to their evil realms.

Trick or Treat Monsters Original Acrylic Painting 
by licoricewits
You might find it interesting to note that, when compared to other harvest celebrations like Samhain, Halloween is a relative newcomer - especially here in the States. Celebrated by Scottish immigrants in the 19th century as a commemoration of their tradition of souling (going door to door begging for treats in return for prayers for the recently departed dead on All Souls Day, November 2nd), Halloween didn't take hold as a real tradition until the early 1900's, when the practice of dressing up in disguises and going trick or treating caught on in North America. It's evolved, of course, and as with all things in life, it has its good and not so good points. But then, who hasn't seen the TP'd tree or eggshell on the lawn of at least one neighborhood house the morning after Halloween? If that's the worst Halloween brings, it's a nuisance, but all in all, pretty harmless in the grand scheme of things!

I think the celebration of Halloween with its costumes and trick-or-treating can be a harmless way to encourage self expression and imagination - as well as to learn some social skills and partake in a piece of tradition.  Traditions are fading away all too quickly in my opinion, and I hope generations to come have the opportunity to celebrate Halloween as simply a day to break out of routine and enjoy some fun safely and prudently.

Let's Make A MEMORY,
Great Ideas for Building Family Traditions and Togetherness
from Time2Consign

As for me, I love dressing up myself, and I love seeing all of the creative costumes that the little ones wear. I love the horror movies, and the haunted houses, the cornfield mazes and the popcorn balls. I've even been known to do a little "ghost hunting" (without much luck!) and carving some of amazing jack-o-lanterns as well! As for evil in the form of demons and monsters?  I don't think it needs Halloween to make itself known - and that's pretty evident just by listening to the latest news any hour of any day. I'll take my chances with putting some smiles on some little one's faces and some goodies in their trick or treat bags... and knowing that it's just about having a good time.

Have a happy, fun, and safe Halloween!



Linda Pruitt said...

Such a good perspective!

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Great informative post!
And I agree...what a great tradition to express ourselves in such a fun way :)

storybeader said...

nice post. I just wish the day weren't so commercialized, like everything else!

Linda B said...

I love learning the history of holidays, etc.

My birthday is 11/1, so I tell people I'm a saint (laughing).

The doorbell is slowing down and it's time for dinner.

Judy Nolan said...

I think you have a realistic attitude about Halloween. Thanks for the historical perspective, too!

mysticwynd said...

Thanks for all the comments ladies! Sometimes I think we try to read too much into things instead of just enjoying them. I do agree about the commercialization though - sadly it seems to be a symptom of modern lifestyles. I do miss the old fashioned fun that we were able to have as kids, but that kind of fun wasn't store bought, and it took a commitment of time - and that seems to be a commodity that many people don't want to give up. That's part of why I love the crafting community - the values tend to be a little more family and community oriented. Something future generations need even more exposure to, imho!

Erika said...

I like the inspirational magnet. And we decided to look at Halloween in a different way this year.

It’s a Wrap Link Party at Artful Rising

Splendid Little Stars said...

I like/agree with your take on Halloween. For me, it's a fun time of dressing up, pretending to be someone else, and having fun!

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