The Origin of Halloween

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Boo from Amelia River Cruises



If history has taught mankind one thing, it is that all things are subject to change. At least, when it comes to how modern culture and practiced traditions are destined to evolve in some way, shape, or form. Holidays all have some evolutionary qualities about them. For example, a brief take on Christmas past to present. Once meant to be a humbling celebration of the birth of a savior, this event would soon become a day of indulgence. Materialistic desires and a more innocent notion of parents wanting to see their children happy and spoiled have become majority hash tags on a once strictly, holy day. While Haloween is a holiday of the lighter variety, there is another side to the celebration spectrum. One which also comes from origins of the ancients.

Happy Haloween from Amelia River CruisesSome two thousand years ago, rituals began to be held by the Celtic people. The Celts arrived in Ireland around the dawn of the 5th century. In a somewhat close proximity to the time of Christ’s tour of Earth, a festival known to signify the change from the fall to winter each year began taking shape. The Celtic people called this anticipated time of change Samhain. The significance of the events’ timing was meant to recognize that fall (a lighter season) was predecessor to a darker time – winter. It was from the symbolism put forth by this festival of light and dark distinctions that Halloween became an annual celebration. The indigenous peoples formed the traditions – many of which are followed to this day – out of practices that were derived from pagan ritualistic behavior. So, why is it that when Halloween is mentioned in passing, imagery of candy and costumes are the first things to sit on your thoughts. Well – in short – societal evolution. We create new realities to fit our lifestyle in a way that allows modern culture to carry on with celebrations as times change. Who doesn’t love costumes and candy? As a young adolescent, Halloween is the single day out of the year when you may figuratively become anyone or anything you so desire. Moreover, you get to see exactly how many mini-snickers your can stomach in one sitting. It’s a win-win!

So, where did the idea for dressing in costume come from? The original plane of thought for costuming on Halloween was one based on reasoning that was not as simple as our modern fantasy role-playing. The Celtic people were always held fast when it came to one unshakable belief. The ancients believed that the barrier that keeps the spiritual world separate from that one of mortal existence was at its’ thinnest state during the changing of light-to-dark seasons, or Samhain. In an effort to ward off any evil spirits that might pass through the barrier between the two planes of existence, sons and fathers would disguise their appearances accordingly as to not be seen.

We at Amelia River Cruises wish everyone a happy and haunted holiday! Contact us online or via the ticket office at the Fernandina Beach downtown marina to book your next cruise join us for one of the best sunsets. (continue…)



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