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Thread: Halloween Costumes

  1. #21
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    Post Re: Halloween Costumes

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontiersman
    You still aren't recognizing the illogic of that idea. Samhain was *Gaelic*, Halloween is *Roman* - Halloween was imported along with Roman liturgical books from Italy to Britain and Ireland, and not the other way around.
    I seems you are too fixated on the origins of the word Halloween.

    Its like saying that Custar's last stand was fought against Punjabi warriors, because they are called "Indians".

    Look at the follwing customs and superstitions associated with the celebration and then tell me with a straight face they are christian in origin.

    Charms, curses and divination:
    - a rabbit's foot is good luck if the rabbit was caught on Halloween night at midnight
    - if you see a falling star on Halloween, it is a sign your sweetheart is a witch
    - a baby born on Halloween will be bewitched
    - on Halloween night a girl who looks over her shoulder into a mirror will see the face of her future husband
    - on Halloween cracking whips on hilltops keeps evil at bay

    Bizzare transformation and disappearances:
    - cows talk to each other and people on Halloween
    - on Halloween wives and babies run the risk to being aducted for a year and a day
    - on Halloween magical doors appear in tree trunks and boulders

    Supernatural creatures, spirits and pagan deities:
    - on Halloween goblins leave the swamp to pursue wrongdoers
    - putting salt in your hair on Halloween will keep the faeries from running off with you
    - on Halloween put extra food on the table for the souls of the dead to eat
    - on Halloween the buning bonfires (bone fires) was supposed to warm the dead before winter and keep away evil
    - blackberries were picked up until Halloween, after which wood spirits would defile and contaminate them

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontiersman
    Samhain had no influence on the Roman Church's decision to place All Saints at that point in the calendar.
    "All Hallow's Eve, or Hallowe'en was originally a festival of fire and the dead and the powers of darkness. It is the evening of 31 October, the night before the Christian All Hallow's Day commemorates the saints and martyrs, and was first instroduced in the 7th century. Its date was changed from 13 May to 1 November in the following century, probably to make it coincide with and Christianize a pagan festival of the dead."
    -- Encyclopedia of Magic and Supersition

    So, the church was not able to suppress the pagan beliefs in spite of Reformation, which attempted to quash the notion of the dead returning.

    If, as you maintain, Halloween is of roman catholic origin, why is it the only day according to superstition on which the help of the "devil" can be invoked for the purpose of divination?

  2. #22
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    Post Re: Halloween Costumes

    Quote Originally Posted by Gentilis
    Its like saying that Custar's last stand was fought against Punjabi warriors, because they are called "Indians".
    Of course not, because we have extensive records of the origins of Halloween. It is quite simply as practiced an American 'folk' holiday based upon the Christian feast. The Christian feast has *no link* to Gaelic pagan practice.

    Look at the follwing customs and superstitions associated with the celebration and then tell me with a straight face they are christian in origin.
    Real Christianity has always had some folkish practices associated with it, depending upon region. If I read the Biblical book of Tobit, I can see burning a fish's gall will drive away a demon. 'Folk practices' of magic have always been part of the 'unofficial' practice of the Christian faith (particularly 'Catholic' or 'Orthodox').

    "All Hallow's Eve, or Hallowe'en was originally a festival of fire and the dead and the powers of darkness. It is the evening of 31 October, the night before the Christian All Hallow's Day commemorates the saints and martyrs, and was first instroduced in the 7th century. Its date was changed from 13 May to 1 November in the following century, probably to make it coincide with and Christianize a pagan festival of the dead."
    -- Encyclopedia of Magic and Supersition
    Yes, and they should have had a better entry. "Probably to make it coincide" - though there is no evidence for any such pagan festival at the time in Rome, nor do the Church documents establishing the feast reference any such pagan festival. Even if it did, it again would be a practice of 'saining' - which the Church did when it took the altar of a folk, and consecrated it to God (which accompanied the willing conversion of the people at that time.) A common practice in those days. Most Christian feasts have such folkish practices surrounding them - connected to omens of good or ill fortune concerning money, love, war, weather, agriculture, etc. This entry shows influence from the writings of Alexander Hysslop.

    So, the church was not able to suppress the pagan beliefs in spite of Reformation, which attempted to quash the notion of the dead returning.
    Again - there is no direct evidence of Halloween (which is not the Feast of All Saints, but the *Vigil* of All Saints on the night before) having origins in any such pagan feast. It wasn't an issue of suppressing pagan beliefs, and the Reformation sure has nothing to do with it either. Halloween would have been considered 'Papist' by the Reformers (as it was, along with Christmas, and every other custom of the Church.) The fact is, all material claiming pagan origins for Halloween comes *entirely* from Protestant (Reformation) anti-Catholic polemics. There is no historical evidence, folklore, or otherwise for Halloween as anything more than a Christian feast entirely. The notion of the dead returning is *entirely* Catholic/Orthodox - as meeting the Saints (the dead) was a common occurence (and sometimes the damned as well, 'ghosts' who were trapped in the intermediate state). On Mt. Athos today the monks *still* often meet with and speak with saints whom have died hundreds of years past.

    If, as you maintain, Halloween is of roman catholic origin, why is it the only day according to superstition on which the help of the "devil" can be invoked for the purpose of divination?
    Because the 'devil' is an entirely Christian figure. Pagans don't have 'the devil' in their religion or folklore, only Christians do. Every religion has an exoteric (outward) side, and an esoteric side (hidden) - much of folkish practices and other anomalies (that often turn into heresies) have their origins in the esoteric side, especially when exaggerated, or perverted.
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  3. #23
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    Post Re: Halloween Costumes

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontiersman
    You still aren't recognizing the illogic of that idea. Samhain was *Gaelic*, Halloween is *Roman* - Halloween was imported along with Roman liturgical books from Italy to Britain and Ireland, and not the other way around. Samhain had no influence on the Roman Church's decision to place All Saints at that point in the calendar. In fact, Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr pointed out that the main reason for Roman placement of All Saints and All Souls on that day was because of the oral tradition of it being the same date as Noah's deluge. When Rome founded the practice of Halloween, it was not in reference to any Roman pagan feast either - the Roman religion not being exactly concordant with the Gaelic. (Samhain isn't even universally Celtic, but only Gaelic.)
    It doesn't matter because modern Halloween, regardless of it's origin, the name and what particular day it falls upon is a pagan celebration felt at this time of year.

    By the way 'Xtian' is meant to be an offensive term, but like Xmas actually is being very respectful as it points back to the Hellenic origins Xristos/Christ as in the Chrisma/Labarum = XP or Chi Rho.
    Thanks for telling me but I already know that. Saying "Xtian" meant no offence from here, it was quicker to type and I'm sure you didn't mean any offence by calling a Wiccan "fluffy bunny"

    Groups that don't celebrate Halloween tend to be either: a) Protestant, which are another religion separated from Christianity, or b) Eastern Orthodox because the Eastern liturgical tradition placed their feast for the departed in the spring. Some modern bishops of the anti-Western party have told their people not to participate in Halloween, meaning the modern American drunken/drugged bash reveling in witches and vampires. American Halloween, unlike Halloween still celebrated by Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and Western Orthodox, has nothing to do with Samhain, and is only indirectly descended from real Halloween - it is something rather that came out of urban squalor in places such as Baltimore. Read the link.
    I read the link thanks. I'll post more on this later...
    (It doesn't matter how old the song is, I won't stop liking it).

  4. #24
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    Post Re: Halloween Costumes

    Quote Originally Posted by FrozenDice
    It doesn't matter because modern Halloween, regardless of it's origin, the name and what particular day it falls upon is a pagan celebration felt at this time of year.
    Sure it matters - because modern Halloween is *still* both a Western European Christian 'holyday', and a secular American celebration. That neo-pagans coopted it for their own religion based upon Fundie Prot Romaphobic literature shouldn't spoil their fun. The Christians will still have the Vigil of All Saints/Halloween, and the Americans (Christians and Secular) will have their Halloween parties - the only two with the 'continuation' of a tradition. So, the pagans can have their festival - but as long as they understand that it is a new holiday they have based upon a Gaelic festival unrelated to Christian/secular Halloween, and based upon a particular Protestant revision of the Christian holyday.

    Thanks for telling me but I already know that. Saying "Xtian" meant no offence from here, it was quicker to type and I'm sure you didn't mean any offence by calling a Wiccan "fluffy bunny"
    Sure, but Xtian *does* have a specific usage in neo-pagan circles (including folk who call themselves Reconstructionists, Luciferians, Satanists, Pagans, Heathens, etc.) - it is meant to be derogatory, and comes from the anti-Christianism that so many neo-pagans do have (which has been rightly criticised within their own group, including the acknowledgement that the 'Burning Times' never existed, and that the folks 'burnt' were Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox - not 'Wiccans'.) I think it is because the great majority of neo-pagans come from either Protestantism, or from Protestant majority cultures (in the case they grew up Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish, etc.)

    Fluff Bunny is an inside joke in neo-pagan circles. I was sure that someone would get the reference, as the dependence upon Protestant anti-Catholic polemics for 'information' on a pagan past is part of what makes a 'fluff bunny' (as well as a belief in 'the Burning Times' or some utopian ancient Matriarchal society worshipping the 'Goddess' and living in harmony with nature until the 'boys' showed up and starting eating meat, shackling women, and saying Mass. ) I was, after all, a Druid for awhile after I left the Protestants.


    I read the link thanks. I'll post more on this later...
    Excellent. At least we are discussing this. Usually I'm having this conversation with the Jerry Falwells and Black Prots and Jews screaming about how I'm 'an evil pagan' for following Halloween or going to Mass/Liturgy.
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    Post Re: Halloween Costumes

    I once went as a vampire. I used to love Halloween.

    I'm not sure whether I'll do anything for it this year. I've always wanted to dress up as a banana. maybe this time I'll get my chance.

  6. #26
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    Post Re: Halloween Costumes

    Quote Originally Posted by rusalka
    If I had the means to find it here I'd go around with the lady or the warrior costume. However even if they were available the real deal folk costumes cost about a couple thousand dollars, so.
    The dancing couple are dressed in what appears to be traditional Georgian costumes.

    If you wanted to get an original costume not expensive you'd have to travel to Tbilisi (Tiflis) during Tbilisoba.

    You can also buy a kinjal (traditional dagger) there, but you might have trouble getting it out of the country.

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    Post Re: Halloween Costumes

    Quote Originally Posted by Gentilis
    The dancing couple are dressed in what appears to be traditional Georgian costumes.
    They are Abkhazian costumes actually, but Georgian and Abkhaz folk dresses are very similar (the men's head gear and the symbols on women's overcoats are different). In the second picture the woman is wearing a psh'i (prince) war costume. My father's side is from the Caucasus, Abkhaz-Adyghe.

    If you wanted to get an original costume not expensive you'd have to travel to Tbilisi (Tiflis) during Tbilisoba.
    Which would be rather challenging, but I would love to. I have a lot of Georgian friends in the US but none of them seem to travel to their homeland.

    You can also buy a kinjal (traditional dagger) there, but you might have trouble getting it out of the country.
    Now that I do have. My great-grandfather's kinjal is, albeit very old, still intact. My father keeps it though, not I. Very few people were able to take their kinjals out of the country during the exile as the Ottomans made them throw their weapons to the sea (which was a blow to the dignity of the men, of course). My great-grandfather did manage to bring it with him, however.

    Home come you know so much about Georgian culture?

  9. #29
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    Mad Re: Halloween Costumes

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontiersman
    The fact is, all material claiming pagan origins for Halloween comes *entirely* from Protestant (Reformation) anti-Catholic polemics.
    "As so often happened, popupar belief and custom was given a new guise acceptable to the Church and made to serve a religious purpose. Although Protestantism undermined this position, many of the age-old associations of the season retained their vitality, and the least religious abservances survived within living memory"
    -- Page 123. Welsh Folk Customs by Trefor M. Owen

    Repeat after me: paganism and pagan beliefs pre-date christianity.

    "Nos Galan gaeaf, All-Hallows Eve, was the weirdest of the three nights during the year; on it spirits walked abroad. It was believed tha on this eve the ghost of a dead person was to be seen at midnight on every stile; and until quite recently country children woul be afraid to go out of the house alone on this evening. In some parts of Wales the wandering ghosts took the form of a ladi wen [white lady], while in other parts, mainly in the north, it was the hwch ddu gwta [the tail-less black sow] which put terror into the hearts of men. The apparition of the black sow, in fact, was closely associated with one of the oldest Calan gaeaf customs, namely that of lighting bonfires after dark."
    -- Page 123-24. Welsh Folk Customs by Trefor M. Owen

    All your talk of protestants and catholics is laughable. To suggest that Halloween superstitions trace their origins back to chritianity is patently absurd. Your argument are based on nothing more than ignorance and religious chauvinism.

    Allow me to share something with you. On the welsh side of my family there was an aunt four generations past whom everybody kept quiet about. It turns out she was a witch, and a member of an coven no less! She wasn't a misguided christian; she was the last practing member of an indigenous religion which traces its origins back to the days of the druids.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontiersman
    There is no historical evidence, folklore, or otherwise for Halloween as anything more than a Christian feast entirely.

    Halloween draws its lore of werewolves, fairies, brownies, elves, leprechauns, will-o'-the-wisps, little people, bugbears, banshees, witches, demons, goblins, hobgoblins, etc. from pagan sources. Period.

    Long before Boniface IV, Gregory III, or Gregory IV entered the scene, my ancestors were observing "Nos Galan Gaeaf", a rite of druidic origin which means in welsh "night before winter". It was a pagan ritual that predated the introduction of christianity to Britain.

    I wholeheartedly recommend you look beyond your christian sources and open you mind to the facts about the pre-christian beliefs of early Europeans.

    Have a look at the following titles:

    Witchcraft & Magic - The Supernatural World of Primitive Man. Arthur S. Gregor. Charles Scriber: New York, 1972

    A Historical Account of the Belief in Witchcraft in Scotland. Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe. Gale Research Company, Book Tower: Detroit, 1974

    Witchcraft and Supertition Record in the South-Western Distric of Scotland. Maxwell Wood. E.P. Publishing Limited: 1975

    Strange Customs: How did they begin? The origins of the unusual and occult customs, superstitions and traditions. R. Brash. David McKay Company: New York, 1976

    Highdays and Holidays. Margaret Joy. Faber and Faber: London, 1981

    Welsh folk Customs. Trefor M. Owen. William Lewis Ltd.: Cardiff, 1974

    The book of Holidays Around the world. Alice Van Straalen. E.P. Dutton: New York, 1986

    British Goblins: Welsh Folklore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions. Wirt Sikes. E.P. Publishing Ltd.: Yorkshire, England 1973

    The Customs and Ceremonies of Britain - An Encyclopaedia of Living Traditions. Charles Kightly. Thames and Hudson Ltd.: London, 1986

    Celtic Folklore - Welsh and Manx. John Rhys. Benjamin Bloom, Inc.: New York, 1972

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    Post Re: Halloween Costumes

    my grandmother made the costume. I can't sew a stitch.
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