Halloween in the Middle Ages
Although the holiday’s roots can be traced back to pagan practices, the name ‘Halloween’ is purely a Christian tradition that began in the early Middle Ages.
In fact, permitting pagan traditions to survive was a stroke of genius by the early christian Church.
Halloween is a descendent of the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sah-een) or ‘summer’s end’ in the original Scots Gaelic.
The celebration held on November 1 marked the Celtic New Year when dead souls were believed to walk the earth. ‘Soul cakes’ were left out for good spirits and lanterns were customarily lit - the modern version of the Halloween pumpkin - to ward off stray evil spirits that also happened to pierce the thin veil of the underworld during this time of year. So deeply imbedded was the Samhain tradition in the human psyche that it survived for centuries.
In the eighth century, the church finally named November 1 All Hallows Day (or the day of the holy ones) in honor of the saints. However, two centuries later, the Church followed the Samhain festival more closely by naming November 2 All Souls Day in honor of the dead.
Owing to the medieval custom of beginning observances the night before, the collective holiday began on All Hallows Evening, or Halloween.
This is an example of the repeating of urban legends on the internet to the point where everyone accepts as true what no one has bothered to research. Author A. AE. Hunts-Anschütz dispels these errors with a research of the sources:
“Many years ago, at a Halloween party, a man in a vampire cape asked me if I knew why people wear costumes on Halloween. I didn’t. He went on to explain that pagan Celts disguised themselves to scare off evil spirits on October thirty-first. I asked how he knew that. He’d seen it on some TV show. (Apparently, he was one of those people who believes everything they see on TV.) For me, this explanation seemed to stretch the limits of credulity. If these evil spirits could be tricked so easily, they couldn’t have posed much of a threat to begin with! More importantly, where’s the evidence for this fact? Are there ancient Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Manx and/or Cornish writings that describe this pagan rite? Having done some research, I now know the answer. There is no historical evidence whatsoever that ancient Celts wore fancy-dress at Halloween time, much less that they wore it to scare off evil spirits. And yet you can still read this ‘fact’ (or variations on it) in hundreds of places on the Web.”
Read the full article and be enlightened with facts at:
Ok… I’ll just leave this here for you. You do the math.
Knowing what to wear next season is as important as knowing what not to wear because it is last season.
Fashion, my dears, is a method of manipulation. You can dictate what people think of you simply by choosing to wear more stylish full skirts, or opting for a more narrow gown that is embarrassingly out of season.