Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea?

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Would it be wrong to point out to these folks—who are desperately trying to escape the pop culture trappings of Halloween—that the porous and yellow polygon has quite the following in the alt lifestyles camp?

NEXT: Picture Perfect

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  1. More to the point: Who lives under a rock?

    These folks, apparently. Do any of these dolts read anything besides The Book? Not to mention the reporter. Ok, lifted from a googled site:http://www.celticspirit.org/samhain.htm

    Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year, for the Celts divided the year into two seasons: the light and the dark, at Beltane on May 1st and Samhain on November 1st. Some believe that Samhain was the more important festival, marking the beginning of a whole new cycle, just as the Celtic day began at night. For it was understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed below the ground. Whereas Beltane welcomes in the summer with joyous celebrations at dawn, the most magically potent time of this festival is November Eve, the night of October 31st, known today of course, as Halloween.

    Samhain (Scots Gaelic: Samhuinn) literally means ?summer’s end.? In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as O?che Shamhna, while in Wales it is Nos Calan Gaeaf, the eve of the winter’s calend, or first. With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saints’ Day, to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year, so the night before became popularly known as Halloween, All Hallows Eve, or Hollantide. November 2nd became All Souls Day, when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who the departed and those who were waiting in Purgatory for entry into Heaven. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry of celebrations from Oct 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery.

    In the country year, Samhain marked the first day of winter, when the herders led the cattle and sheep down from their summer hillside pastures to the shelter of stable and byre. The hay that would feed them during the winter must be stored in sturdy thatched ricks, tied down securely against storms. Those destined for the table were slaughtered, after being ritually devoted to the gods in pagan times. All the harvest must be gathered in — barley, oats, wheat, turnips, and apples — for come November, the faeries would blast every growing plant with their breath, blighting any nuts and berries remaining on the hedgerows. Peat and wood for winter fires were stacked high by the hearth. It was a joyous time of family reunion, when all members of the household worked together baking, salting meat, and making preserves for the winter feasts to come. The endless horizons of summer gave way to a warm, dim and often smoky room; the symphony of summer sounds was replaced by a counterpoint of voices, young and old, human and animal.

    In early Ireland, people gathered at the ritual centers of the tribes, for Samhain was the principal calendar feast of the year. The greatest assembly was the ‘Feast of Tara,’ focusing on the royal seat of the High King as the heart of the sacred land, the point of conception for the new year. In every household throughout the country, hearth-fires were extinguished. All waited for the Druids to light the new fire of the year — not at Tara, but at Tlachtga, a hill twelve miles to the north-west. It marked the burial-place of Tlachtga, daughter of the great druid Mogh Ruith, who may once have been a goddess in her own right in a former age.

    At at all the turning points of the Celtic year, the gods drew near to Earth at Samhain, so many sacrifices and gifts were offered up in thanksgiving for the harvest. Personal prayers in the form of objects symbolizing the wishes of supplicants or ailments to be healed were cast into the fire, and at the end of the ceremonies, brands were lit from the great fire of Tara to re-kindle all the home fires of the tribe, as at Beltane. As they received the flame that marked this time of beginnings, people surely felt a sense of the kindling of new dreams, projects and hopes for the year to come.

  2. Most every major Christian holiday was originally a pagan celebration of some sort. The hostility toward Halloween comes from the fact that Halloween is the only holiday that is still more pagan than Christian (All Saints Day).

  3. 1)Patrick lives under a rock!

    2)Isn’t All Hallow’s Eve and May Day eve the nights the fairies pick a new mound to live in for 12 months?

    3)The kinds of folks that go to these things kgive me thwe willies more than any 8 year old dressed like the Matrix or Harry Potter. It’s like they’re dressing up like Andrea Yates!

  4. re #2 they live in the mound 6 months.

  5. Halloween’s been dead for decades. It started going down hill back when I was a kid and people took the “razor blade in the apple” urban-legend seriously. I remember the local cops would set up at the elementary school and pass a metal detector over the kids candy. This myth wouldn’t die (despite the fact that no kid ever did) I haven’t had a trick-or-treater in ten years (full disclosure: nine of those years I lived in an apartment, but still).

    Oven in Detroit they have a different problem; vandalism, even arson. Devils night was once rampant on All-Hallows-eve-eve but when they started cracking down on it with more cops on the street, the diliquents just moved it up a night to All-Hallows-eve-eve-eve. I’m glad I moved to the other side of the state. Having your house TP’d is one thing, having your Car molotov-cocktailed is quite another.

    Oh, and this thread wouldn’t be complete without someone linking to here:
    http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0058/0058_01.asp

  6. Thanks for the interesting post, “me”!

    Franklin Harris – the $2.50 word for what you said is ‘syncretism’.

  7. Here is an article from today’s local paper about the waning Halloween festivities in local public schools. Probably the most prominent reason given for the decrease: “Local religious groups had indicated they did not want their children participating in what they consider to be an “anti-religious” holiday.”

    Most people probably don’t think of Lancaster, PA as part of the Bible Belt, but believe me, sometimes it feels like the buckle.

  8. Excellent addition. With the Chick track, you might note, btw, that pumpkins are indigeonous to America, so Chick’s story about Druids and Jack O’Lanterns doesn’t really wash.

    Another great Halloween Chick track here:
    http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0032/0032_01.asp

    And back to our old friend, Mr. Sponge-Bob, I think if Christians would only wake up to the threat he represents, they’d say something like this:
    http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news0403/spongebob.html

  9. Yeah, halloween seems to be on the way out. Where I grew up, my parents still live there. They haven’t had a trick-or-treater for years. When I was a kid it was a major event – 100s of kids roaming around the streets. I imagine it’s a combination of candied razor blade urban legends, fear of abductions, the thought that kids just shouldn’t be wandering around like that unsupervized, and maybe a touch of fundy killjoys.

  10. Gallimaufry is my new favorite word.

  11. What about the Valentine’s episode where SpongeBob makes holiday plans with Patrick and Patrick gets upset over not getting a gift. Sounds kinda gay to me!

  12. Halloween on the way out??? Not in my neck of the woods. There are no fewer than 3 Halloween “Superstores” open in my area this time of year selling all manner of costumes and props for All-Hallows-Eve fun. Just about every store I’ve visted today has SOMEONE on staff dressed up, or was that Walkerie, Nun, and Hugh Hefner look-alike behind the counters at the bank just my imagination?

    Trick Or Treat is happening THIS evening believe it or not, mainly as a protest against all the namby pamby soccer moms who fear tainted treats and fictious Satanists ready to steal away their children.

    Of course, on the local right-wing radio talk shows they had more than a few JEEZ-us freaks come on to denounce this “Satanic” day. They claimed that ancient celts used servered heads as prototype Jack-O-Lanterns and “trick or treating” was used to determine whom the druids would sacrafice to Samhain (who is really just another name for SATAN dontchaknow) the “celtic god of death.” Of course, anyone who has down their homework can tell you that this is heavily borrowed from anti-celt propaganda that dates back to Roman times, but who said “faith” needs to be based upon “truth” anyway?

  13. “Most every major Christian holiday was originally a pagan celebration of some sort.”

    You should hear what the fundies have to say about Santa Claus… Or should I say SATAN CLAUS the product of pagan(i.e. Satanic)spirts and those blasted Catholics and their Whore Of Babylon Pope!

  14. Thanks for the Chick Tracts guys, I am going to print a bunch out and hand them to the kids tonight!!!

    🙂

    PS Good one Mark…

  15. Halloween is dead? What will I do with my costume? Oh why did I RSVP for those parties….

  16. Religion is fun.

  17. Justin Barstow and anon. @ 03:44 PM: the Faeries gather up and move their mound on midsummers eve — the Summer Equinox (another pagan holiday, btw).

  18. Door-to-door trick-or-treating isn’t what it used to be, but Halloween is still the second-largest retail holiday in the U.S.

  19. Halloween sure isn’t dead here in Long Beach Ca.

    We live in a pretty nice part of town, and the parents who live in the hood literally bus their kids to our neighborhood to trick or treat.

    As for the several posters with no trick or treaters, I can say the same thing happened in my parents neighborhood, I think it has more to do with changing demographics than the death of Halloween.

    In my parents neighborhood, home values have increased so much, that it is vitually impossible for a couple with young children to afford to live there. Thus, no little kids, no trick or treaters.

    In our neighborhood, which is nice but still slightly affordable, more families with young kids, more trick or treaters, plus the kids from the hood, who come to a safer place to trick or treat.

    Regards

    Joe

    P.S. My daughter just turned two, I am almost as excited about halloween, as I was when I was a kid. I got to carve my first pumpkin in years.

  20. The gayest SpongeBob episodes are 1)the one where they adopt the baby oyster and set up house and 2)the fry cook games which ends with muscle-bound SBSP and Patrick in their underwear holding hands walking into the sunset.

  21. I love going out for Halloween, if only to fling it the faces of the Bible-thumpers. Happy Halloween, and kiss *this*!

  22. On History Channel there is a special on the orgins of Halloween narrated by… ALICE COOPER! (Be my… FRANKENSTEIN!!!)

  23. We had our trick or treats last night because this Homecoming Weekend for WVU. I gotta tell ya, the last two years, I took my kids out around the block, and it was pretty lame. I thought that Halloween was on the way out. This year, I took them up to the top of the hill (we peasants live on the side of the hill). The road was literally choked with people. We had to wait for people to clear out so we could walk to the next house. Just goes to show ya — you never know.

  24. Call off the death watch on Halloween. As was mentioned, it remains a big deal as measured by retail sales of costumes, candy, junk, etc. I went out with the kids tonight (they were the Lone Ranger and Tonto, thank goodness for cable’s resurrection of the oldies but goodies) and ran into many other groups of kids doing the T-n-T. Plenty came by the house, too, I’m told, and few were of the too-old and too-cool-to-dress-up variety that we used to see five to 10 years ago.

    Also, there will always be the kookier phylum of Christians who demonize Halloween, but here in the Bible Belt the real trend is towards churches — including Southern Baptists and various Pentacostal types — holding “Fall Festivals” in the early evening that provide kids and adults a fun place to come, costumed up, to eat, play games, and generally recreate. Most come by before or after stalking the neighbors for sweets. Sure, you can’t wear Scary Movie regalia, but frankly this generates more genuine creativity than it does holiday oppression.

    Lighten up, folks, people are still free and more than eager to have fun. Even those bizarre, deeply disturbed wackos who believe in God.

  25. Halloween will never die in New England. It just looks so creepy around here in early autumn – old, gnarley, bare trees; covered bridges; old houses. The atmosphere is just too perfect.

  26. We gave out 40 bags of candy here in our apartment in the Bronx. Later that night the streets were mobbed with 13 year olds hitting each other with eggs and shaving cream.

    Ahhh, the joys of youth!

  27. Wow. This thread is disturbing. The collective close-mindedness about people whose faith differs from yours rivals the fundamentalists’. If there are people who view Halloween as antithetical to their faith, what’s it to you? Schools shut down Christmas programs in favor of winter programs, so why is Halloween sacrosanct? And in the linked article, the people choosing not to participate in Halloween aren’t even trying to stop you from dressing up.

    “Free minds” — ha. You claim fundamentalists fear what they don’t understand, but this thread is just as bigoted.

  28. The most horrifying thing I ever saw on Spongebob was when his pants came off. I kid you not. He retracted his legs, the pants slid off, and he started propelling himself with water jets out of the (ahem)holes. I’ll carry that picture with me to my grave.

  29. EMAIL: krokodilgena1@yahoo.com
    IP: 62.213.67.122
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    DATE: 12/10/2003 07:43:56
    You get what anyone gets. You get a lifetime.

  30. EMAIL: krokodilgena1@yahoo.com
    IP: 62.213.67.122
    URL: http://.nonstopsex.org
    DATE: 12/20/2003 10:55:27
    Shall I teach you how to know something? Realize you know it when you know it, and realize you don’t know it when you don’t.

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