Do you think Australians have fully embraced halloween as a regular event? Or is it still seen as an Amercian traditional that we dabble in?!
I personally love Halloween, I actually looked up what it meant a few years ago and it was quite interesting. Below is some information I found on Halloween!
This information is sourced from Wikipedia, but for the purpose of this post its ok!!
'Halloween has origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain [pronounced: sow- wen] (Irish pronunciation: [ˈsˠaunʲ]; from the Old Irish samhain, possibly derived from Gaulish samonios). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year". Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient Celtic pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Celts believed that on October 31 the boundary between the world and the otherworld dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damage to crops. The festival frequently involved bonfires into which the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. The wearing of costumes and masks at Halloween goes back to the Celtic traditions of attempting to copy the evil spirits or to placate them. In Scotland the dead were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, while dressed in white.
Origin of name
The term Halloween, originally spelled Hallowe’en, is shortened from All Hallows' Eve: eve is an abbreviation of even, an older word for evening. Halloween gets -een as a contraction of even to e'en], from the Old English term eallra hālgena ǣfen meaning "All Hallows' Evening", as it is the eve of "All Hallows’ Day", which is now also known as All Saints' Day. It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European pagan traditions, until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 (which had itself been the date of a pagan holiday, the Feast of the Lemures) to November 1. In the 9th century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Although All Saints' Day is now considered to occur one day after Halloween, the two holidays were at that time celebrated on the same day. Halloween is thought of as a time when the living and the dead can be together again.
A traditional Irish halloween Jack-o'-lantern from the early 20th century on display in the Museum of Country Life, Ireland.On All Hallows’ eve, the ancient Celts would place a skeleton on their window sill to represent the departed. Originating in Europe, these lanterns were first carved from a turnip or rutabaga. Believing that the head was the most powerful part of the body, containing the spirit and the knowledge, the Celts used the "head" of the vegetable to frighten off the embodiment of superstitions. Welsh, Irish and British myth are full of legends of the Brazen Head, which may be a folk memory of the widespread ancient Celtic practice of headhunting - the results of which were often nailed to a door lintel or brought to the fireside to speak their wisdom. The name jack-o'-lantern can be traced back to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a greedy, gambling, hard-drinking old farmer. He tricked the devil into climbing a tree and trapped him by carving a cross into the tree trunk. In revenge, the devil placed a curse on Jack, condemning him to forever wander the earth at night with the only light he had: a candle inside of a hollowed turnip. The carving of pumpkins is associated with Halloween in North America where pumpkins are both readily available and much larger- making them easier to carve than turnips. Many families that celebrate Halloween carve a pumpkin into a frightening or comical face and place it on their doorstep after dark. The American tradition of carving pumpkins preceded the Great Famine period of Irish immigration[dead link] and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.
The imagery surrounding Halloween is largely an amalgamation of the Halloween season itself, works of Gothic and horror literature, in particular novels Frankenstein and Dracula, and nearly a century of work from American filmmakers and graphic artists, and British Hammer Horror productions, also a rather commercialized take on the dark and mysterious. Halloween imagery tends to involve death, evil, the occult, magic, or mythical monsters. Traditional characters include the Devil, the Grim Reaper, ghosts, ghouls, demons, witches, pumpkin-men, goblins, vampires, werewolves, martians, zombies, mummies, pirates, skeletons, black cats, spiders, bats, owls, crows, and vultures.
Particularly in America, symbolism is inspired by classic horror films (which contain fictional figures like Frankenstein's monster and The Mummy). Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.
The two main colors associated with Halloween are orange and black.
Im looking forward to making some Halloween inspired cupcakes this year...stay tuned!!