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How and when did Halloween originate
Date:2013-10-15 16:23 From:yanzhu 【Print】 【Closed】 【Collection
Last article we knew the Halloween is originated in the early Middle Ages as a Catholic vigil observed on the eve of All Saints Day, November 1. But if i want to know more about this festival, what can i do? One choice is searching it by google, another is read followings by editors in Mandarin Morning Chinese School in shanghai.
It has become commonplace to trace its roots even further back in time to a pagan festival of ancient Ireland known as Samhain (pronounced sow'-en or sow'-een), about which little is actually known. The prehistoric observance is said to have marked the end of summer and the onset of winter, and was celebrated with feasting, bonfires, sacrificial offerings, and homage to the dead.
Despite thematic similarities, there's scant evidence of any real historical continuity linking Samhain to the medieval observance of Halloween, however. Some modern historians, notably Ronald Hutton (The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, 1996) and Steve Roud (The English Year, 2008, and A Dictionary of English Folklore, 2005), flatly reject the popular notion that the Church designated November 1st All Saints Day to "Christianize" the pagan holiday. Citing a lack of historical evidence, Roud goes so far as to dismiss the Samhain theory of origin altogether.
"Certainly the festival of Samhain, meaning Summer's End, was by far the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish calendar, and there was a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen," Roud notes, "but however strong the evidence in Ireland, in Wales it was May 1 and New Year which took precedence, in Scotland there is hardly any mention of it until much later, and in Anglo-Saxon England even less."
It seems reasonable to conclude that the connection between Halloween and the pagan Irish festival of Samhain has, at the very least, been overstated in most modern accounts of the holiday's origin.
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