The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing. -Isaac Asimov

Oct 31, 2009

Halloween

Many people seem to think that Halloween is some typical American celebration that has become popular all around the world thanks to their movies and the large cultural influence of US. all around the world. Me and my friends have always known/believed that it was actually originated in Ireland, and almost every year we celebrate it going to some Irish pub (yeah, we also like beer, so...). But I never delved into this topic further. Until now.

The word 'Halloween' comes actually from 'All Hallow's Eve', and it was largely established as a celebration all around the US. by Irish immigrants on mid 1800's. But the roots of this celebration go even further, to medieval ages and beyond, when Gaelic cultures celebrated the 'Samhain', the end of the summer and the harvest season, and the beginning of the new Celtic year. The word 'Samhain' comes from the ancient Irish "Samain", which is the equivalent of the month November on the Celtic calendar. The celebration lasted 3 nights and it was believed that during that time, the line separating the worlds of the living and the dead was shorter than ever, and so the spirits could walk freely. The people left food outside to keep the evil spirits away from their houses, and instead of pumpkins like we use today, they used turnips to place candles inside.

All of this could have roots even further in time, Gaelic cultures have been around for a really long time, and I guess mankind has always celebrated the end of the harvest season one way or the other.  But it shocks me how much things are pretty much the same as time passes by, and how different they are at the same time.

This week I made this quick drawing of a 3-fingered hand using a blue pen on white paper. I thought it could make a nice Halloween picture and I gave it some color using Paint Shop Pro Photo. I hope you like it.

Have a scary/funny Samhain!

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