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Leon's Blogs
History
(and etymology) of

+ Halloween Games

 

Table of Contents
(Just click on the pumpkin jack-o-lantern)

Etymology of the word "Halloween"
History of Halloween
Halloween Traditions
Halloween Games
Halloween Movies (for kids)
Halloween Funny Photo
Halloween vs.  All Saints Day 
(dia de los muertos)

 

 

Etymology & Meaning of the word "Halloween"

"Hallow" is short for "hallowed"  and it means holy.

"E'en" is short for "evening".

Hence, "Halloween" means:  "holy evening."

If Halloween is a HOLY evening, why do so many people think that Halloween is the night of the Devil?  I don't know.  In reality, Halloween has nothing to do with the Devil.  The concept of a Devil is a Judaeo-Christian fabrication.  In the Judaeo-Christian Bible, the word "devil" is usually used in the plural, and is very countable.  "Satan" is a collective noun representing all devils.  "Lucifer" is used only once in the Bible and was not referring to the Devil but rather to the King of Babylon.

On the other hand, Halloween was a Celtic Holy Night, first celebrated on what are now known as the British Isles about 2,500 years ago (or more).

 

 

 

History of Halloween
(my source:  Encyclopedia Britannica)


Halloween was a holiday in Ireland and other British Isles for close to a thousand years.  It was a part of their culture long before Christianity came to the British Isles.  There was a group of people living on what is now known as Ireland (and the British Isles), called Celts.  The religious leaders of the Celtics were called Druids.  On the last day of the Celtic calendar (which is October 31 by the Roman calendar), after sundown, it was believed that all the spirits of the dead came forth from their resting places and roamed the earth.

It was believed that MOST of the spirits of the deceased were harmless;  however, some of the spirits of the deceased were considered to be wicked.  So, in order for the living to protect themselves from the wicked spirits, the Celts made scary lanterns out of pumpkins, and placed the 'jack-o-lanterns' in front of their houses to scare away all wicked spirits.


Pumpkin

is changed to


Jack-o-lantern
A common fruit Just take the seeds out and carve a scary face.  Then, put a candle inside.

We still do it the same way we have done it for thousands of years.

Just put it on your porch to scare away
bad spirits on the last
day of the Celtic year:  called "Halloween".

(Note:  I have permission to use the clip art above, but I have to give credit to the publisher:  http://www.dtpe.com/)

Source of information:  Encyclopedia Britannica

 

When Christianity came to the British Isles, the Catholics tried to change such pagan practices, and they initiated "All Saints' Eve," or "Day of the Dead", which is celebrated on November 1st.  However, the traditions of the people would not die.  Today, Halloween is celebrated in Britain, North America, Australia, New Zealand and probably parts of South Africa.  Other countries are trying to "get into the act" also.  Korea, for example, has Halloween celebrations in most of their bars and night clubs.

Contrast Halloween with Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos); All Saints Day


 

 

Other Halloween traditions include:

Wearing scary masks

The Celts wore scary masks if they had to leave their houses on Halloween, to scare away would-be molesting evil spirits.

(pic from http://www.deathstudios.com)

Trick-or-Treating

Since no one still believes that evil spirits roam the earth, children dress up in costumes, both cute and scary, and go from door to door soliciting tricks or treats from their neighbors.  The custom of "trick-or-treating" seems to be a fairly modern custom.  I don't know (because NOBODY KNOWS) how this tradition got started.  But, it seems to have started in the United States in 1950's.  It was probably started by parents wanting to lessen the scariness of the "Hallowed Evening" for children.

It is very similar to the Christmas tradition of "wassailing," where people get together in a small group and go from house to house singing Christmas carols, and hope to get some treats for their singing.

 


 

Halloween Games

1. Bobbing for Apples

Materials

 

 

 

 
- a big bucket full of water

- as many apples as there are contestants (or more)

- a stop watch

- a score sheet/board

- writing implement
Method Put all the apples in the bucket.  The apple should float.  If it doesn't float, get another apple.  The first contestant must try to grab the apple with his/her teeth and stand up straight with the apple securely lodged in his/her mouth.  The contestant may not use his/her hands.  Someone should use the stop watch to time the contestant.  Then, the next contestant tries.  The contestant with the quickest time wins.  

2.  Pin the Tail on the Donkey
(or Pin the Nose on the Jack-o-lantern)

                                                                    

- for:
pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey
for:
pin-the-nose-on-the-jack-o
Materials - a big paper donkey w/o tail

- a paper donkey tail

- a blind fold

- a writing implement

- a big paper jack-o-lantern w/o nose

- a paper nose

- a blind fold

- a writing implement

Method Make a paper donkey with a separate tail.  Stick the tailless donkey to the wall or board.  Put the blind fold one the first contestant.  Put the donkey tail in his/her hand.  Spin the contestant three times.  Send the contestant in the direction of the tailless donkey.  The contestant must place the donkey tail as close to it's original position as possible.  Mark the chosen spot with a pen or other writing implement.  Then contestant number two tries.  The closest contestant wins. Make a paper jack-o-lantern with a separate nose.  Stick the nose-less jack-o-lantern to the wall or board.  Put the blind fold one the first contestant.  Put the nose in his/her hand.  Spin the contestant three times.  Send the contestant in the direction of the nose-less jack-o-lantern.  The contestant must place the nose as close to it's original position as possible.  Mark the chosen spot with a pen or other writing implement.  Then contestant number two tries.  Repeat as many times as there are contestants.  The closest contestant wins.

3.  Scariest Mask Contest

Materials

 

 

 

- lots of paper

- lots of coloring implements

- tape

- scissors

Method Have all contestants draw and color the scariest mask they can imagine.  Then have them cut the eyes out.  Then have them tape the mask to their faces.  When everyone is finished.  Have the contestants vote for the scariest mask.  The winner gets the most votes, of course.

4.  Pumpkin Carving Contest

Materials

 

 

 

- one pumpkin for each team or contestant

- one knife for each team of contestant

- lots of old newspapers

- two big pots

Method Each contestant or team gets one pumpkin, and one knife.  Each team must spread out newspapers under their work area.  Then, they must cut open the top of the pumpkin and take out all the seeds and put the seeds in one of the pots.  Then they must try to carve out the scariest face they can imagine in the side of the pumpkin.  The chucks of pumpkin must be put into the other pot.  Then the contestants vote for the scariest jack-o-lantern.  The seed can be cleaned, roasted and eaten.  The pumpkin chunks can be used to make pumpkin pie or pumpkin porridge.


Halloween Movies (for kids)

Hocus Pocus
Adams Family
It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Nightmare Before Christmas

 


 

Halloween Funny Photo

(Photographer: Unknown)

If you took this photo, please contact me and let me so I can give you credit for the photo... GREAT PHOTO, by the way!!!!

 


A Contrast between

Halloween

and Day of the Dead, AKA: All Saints' Day

Aspect Halloween All Saints' Day
Date: October 31 November 1
Who started it? Celts Catholics
When was it started? around 500 B.C. Around 500 A.D.
Purpose: Protection from evil spirits Memorial of dead "saints"
Who celebrates it and where? All people of English-speaking countries. All Catholics around the world

 


Leon's Other Links

Pictures of REAL Ghosts

Exorcism (How to get rid of ghosts)

How to know if it is a good ghost or a bad ghost

 

 

 

 


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