Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Holy October!

Time for Monsterama's yearly reminder about the history of the holiday season originally derived from the Celtic Samhain. But lets not short change the Christians... they brought a lot to the table in the creation of the festival now known as Halloween. In the 800's, as Christianity was spreading into Celtic lands, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day (a time to honor saints and martyrs) in an attempt to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the traditional pagan night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve. In A.D. 1000, the church made November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the Eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.