Halloween – A Magical Night Beckons

History Of Halloween

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, as far back as 2,000 years ago. Samhain, (pronounced say-win or sow-in) means summer's end, and it was the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter.

For people who survived on crops that grew in the fields and animals that were pastured, it was a significant cycle. 

Samhain started at sunset on 31 October and ran until sunset on 01 November.

All Saints Day, All Hallows Eve And Souling

All Hallows Eve is also the night before All Saints Day on 01 November which is celebrated by Christianity, particularly the Catholic Church.

All Saints Day is a time to honor all the saints and to offer prayers for the souls of the dead.

In England, from the medieval period, up until the 1930s, people practiced the Christian custom of “souling” on Halloween.

This involved groups of soulers, both Protestant and Catholic, going from parish to parish, begging the rich for soul cakes, in exchange for praying for the souls of the givers and their friends.

You could hear soulers singing: "a soul cake, a soul cake, have mercy on all Christian souls for a soul cake."

Or, how about this little refrain:

Soul, soul, an apple or two,
If you haven’t an apple, a pear will do,
One for Peter, two for Paul,
Three for the Man Who made us all

This is part of the history behind the custom we now have of trick-or-treating. Children go from door to door with the phrase "trick or treat" in hopes of a reward of candy.

Halloween In The United States

Halloween traditions in the United States include pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and costume parties. Traditional colors are orange and black and link to the Samhain holiday. Orange symbolizes the colors of the crops and turning leaves, while black marks the 'death' of summer.

Decorations feature skulls, witches and bats, black cats, tombstones and ghosts. Candy corn is a not-to-be-missed Halloween candy. Costumes are to be as creative as possible.

It's a secular, but not a federal holiday which means we don't get the day off from work. Given all the activity around Halloween, it seems like we should have it off, don't you think?

Artist, Robert Ingpen

What Are Your Plans For This Magical Night?

October 31 will be here in the blink of a black cat's eye.

Do you have children? Perhaps you are already head-to-toe in costume fabrics and materials, busy making outfits for your little ones. What's the costume flavor of the year?

Maybe you're picking out a costume for yourself – for your own Halloween festivities.

In Scotland and Ireland, guising – children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins – is a traditional Halloween custom, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money.

The practice of guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children going “guising” around the neighborhood.

Organizing a party for Halloween?

Pumpkins need carving, decorations need to be hung and caramel apples await a sticky demise.

Do your plans include a visit to a haunted house?  

Spooky delights are lurking in the cobwebs and hallways of darkness.

Veils Disappear Between Worlds On Halloween

As the warmth of summer fades away, darkness and cold prevail. Winter is a time of year often associated with human death as the earth also "dies" before the rebirth in spring. Druids believed that the spirits of those who died the preceding year roamed the earth during the night of Samhain.

The Druids celebrated this holiday with a great fire festival to encourage the dimming Sun not to completely vanish. People danced around bonfires to keep evil spirits away. Doors were left open in hopes that the kind spirits of loved ones might join them at the hearth.

Spirits from the other side were either entertained by the living or they found a body to possess for the incoming year.

Dressing up like witches, ghosts and goblins protected the living from being possessed.

Halloween is still considered to be a magical night when the veils between our worlds of the dead and the living become transparent. As the veils disappear, spirits who have passed to the other side can cross back over; the dead walk among the living.

The belief that the souls of the dead return home on one night of the year has ancient origins. It's found in many cultures throughout the world.

Even the most skeptical among us become just a little superstitious on this night of shadows and spirits.

Bring The Radiance Technique® To Your Halloween

Whatever your views of Halloween, secular or religious, bring your use of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) to your many activities.

Students of all degrees of TRT® benefit from use of TRT® hands-on. For example, before heading out for the night. Or, while you're out and about.

Maybe some hands-on afterwards, to help relax and unwind. The beauty of TRT® is that it's available to you at any time.

Are you organizing little ones as they tap dance through Princess, Dinosaur, and Spider-Man costumes? Be sure to remember some TRT® hands-on for yourself to promote relaxation and to expand your joy.

Happy Halloween.