|Trick or treat - Little beggars mindlessly knocking
on doors until their knuckles bleed and get a blister from pushing door
bell buttons. So why is all this right to do? Does it make sense? How
is this day connected to the dead, if at all?
Let's look at the real Halloween, which has been watered down and changed from how it began as a pagan day. Celts offered the gods blood sacrifices, and worried about the Sun coming up each day. Cows, horses and other animals were burned on bonfires as sacrifices. These sacrifices were to give back the essence of life to the gods which animals have in payment for what the Earth gave to man. Burnt entrails were read like tealeaves to determine fortunes.
For amusement before the 1800's, villagers would collect dozens of cats. These would be placed in a net and hoisted up off the ground. Then the cats would be set on fire to burn alive. Sadistic people thought this was great sport and amusing. Some cats were hung on ropes or burned at the stake. In one television documentary several years ago, large wicker baskets were packed with people selected at random and set on fire to burn alive.
In the eighth century the pope declared October 31st as the day before All Saints Day. He made it the day to honor all the saints which did not have their own day. Hence, October 31st was also known as All Hallow's Evening. Halloween is merely a contraction of words.
Pagans continue to celebrate Halloween today with chanting, masks and beating a drum while marching around a circle of fire.
Despite the attempt by the catholic church to absorb Halloween, even today pagans and Christians still wear costumes, bob for apples, carve pumpkins, decorate with fake skulls and skeletons, etc...
Puritan settlers in America wanted nothing to do with the holiday; they considered it too pagan. Telling ghost stories and bobbing for apples were already popular in Virginia 400 years ago. These customs which were brought to America from England.
Fake flaming pots are now sold in stores. Next time you look at these pots you might think of the thousands of cats which were killed.
Perhaps parents will give the history of Halloween some thought when they are out buying a costume for their children. 10-30-14, Ted Twietmeyer, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.rense.com/general96/misery.html