Archive for the ‘CELEBRATIONS’ Category

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Halloween

Halloween History
Ancient Celts
The Celts lived in what are now England, France and Ireland. The Halloween story begins when these people spent all spring and summer growing food to last them through the winter. When it was time to harvest all the food, the Celts held a festival to thank the good spirits for their help. This festival was called Samhain (pronounced sow-en). It was held on the day that marked the end of warm light weather and the beginning of dark cold weather-November 1. As part of the celebration, people wore costumes, told fortunes and ate plenty of good food. They also made sacrifices to keep bad spirits away.
All Saint’s Day
Several hundred years later, other beliefs and religions spread to the Celtic lands. The new religion, Christianity, believed that November 1 was a day to honor people who died for their religion. Celtic people understood how November 1 was a good day to honor good spirits-they had been doing it for centuries. The day became known as “All Saint’s Day” or “All-hallowmas.” The night before the festival day, October 31, became known as “All-hallows Eve” or “Hallowe’en.”
Early Halloween
Because November 1 was a day for good spirits and souls, the night before was thought to be the time for bad spirits to roam free. Halloween turned into a scary time for people who believed that evil spirits would wander the earth to do mischief and cause trouble. To feel safe, people began to put lanterns in their windows and in front of their doors to scare away spirits. They made lanterns out of carved turnips and other vegetables and, in general, did not consider the time a happy Halloween.
Modern Halloween
Today’s Halloween celebrations combine the joyous fun and food of the Samhain festivals of the Celts with the more creepy and spooky aspect of All Hallows Eve. Costumes, pumpkins and imaginary spooks all combine to make one of the more popular holidays in the United States where people wish each other a “Happy Halloween.”

My Easter Egg for you all is a video with SUBTITLES!!! (believe it or not!)

Bet You Didn’t Know: Easter Traditions

How did Easter traditions like the Easter bunny and egg hunts become part of the holiday celebration?

APRIL FOOLS’ DAY

Posted: 1 April 2014 in CELEBRATIONS, READINGS
Tags: ,

Where Does April Fools’ Day Originate?
Despite having no official recognition, April 1 has long been celebrated as a day to celebrate, well, foolishness to be exact. More specifically, April Fools’ Day is about making other people look stupid with practical jokes.

As dearly as we hold the tradition of making fools of the people we care about, there’s little more than theories about where April Fools’ Day came from. Figuring out the origins of the holiday can be as tricky as getting to the source of a joke.

The most common theory about the earliest April Fools’ celebrations goes like this: In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull decreeing a new standard calendar for Christian Europe that would take his name and centuries later become the standard internationally in the 21st century.

Prior to the 15th century, Europe’s nations and city states operated using the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar moved the date of the new year from April 1 to January 1, among other changes. Catholic monarchies were naturally its earliest adopters, though Protestant nations later followed suit.

Given the nature of the reform, both in terms of communicating such a fundamental change to a large population and dealing with critics of the new calendar, some Europeans continued to celebrate the new year between March 25 and April 1. April fools were those who still celebrated the holiday in the spring, and were the subject of pranks and ridicule by those who observed the new year months ago.

That’s just one theory for the origin of the holiday, however. It seems that other occasions resembling April Fools’ Day preceded the more contemporary incarnation by centuries.