12 October 2009

An Abbracadabbling Halloween Begins!

It seems as if I’m always trying to pull together a costume at the last minute, no matter how much I’ve tried to plan ahead. I’ll tell you (do I have to tell you?), dressing up as your favorite superhero can be a b@%! ... excuse me, next to impossible if you've got to rely on what you find laying around the house. Although, I did stumble across a few old batarangs my sister was hiding in her closet year before last...
Yup, yup: preparing for Halloween can be one tricky gimmick. That's why all this week, the comicsblog will be rocking a few Halloween suggestions your way--everything from what to wear to nifty, neat-o ideas for treats to toss at the kiddies in place of tapples, candy bars or those mini shaving creams you bought in bulk at Big Lots.
To kick off Abbracadabbling Halloween 2009, we thought we'd get everyone up to speed with a little Halloween History. Then, just down the page, we found five spooky wallpapers we thought would be up every dabblers dark alley. Click the links we've provided and your get computer into costume...before it's too late.
A Short History of The Long Halloween
Halloween is one of the oldest holidays with origins going back thousands of years. The holiday we know as Halloween has had many influences from many cultures over the centuries. While many customs and people throughout history contributed to the celebration of Halloween, the three largest influences on the holiday were the Roman's Pomona Day of the Roman Empire, the Celtic festival Samhain, and the two Christian holidays, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
Hundreds of years ago, the Celts populated much of what is now Great Britain and Northern France. A pagan people, the Celts worshipped nature and had a pantheon of many gods, with the sun god as their major deity. Like the Egyptians and many other ancient civilizations, the Celtic Sun God presided over both work and rest in Celtic life, and was responsible for many aspects of nature, including the harvest.
The Celts celebrated their New Year on November 1st. Each year, the day was commemorated with a festival and marked the end of the "season of the sun" and the beginning of "the season of darkness and cold."
The rituals of Celtic celebration began the previous night, on October 31st. After the final crops had been harvested, all fires in the homes would be extinguished and life would go dark. The Druids, Celtic priests, would then convene in areas rich with oak trees, which were considered sacred in Celtic society. The Druids would then light bonfires and offer sacrifices of crops and live animals. A ritualistic fire dance followed these offerings of flesh, blood, and food, to please the Sun God as the season of the sun passed and gave way to a more uncertain time, the season of darkness.
The following morning, the Druids would give an ember from their fires to each family who would then take them home to start new cooking fires. These fires would keep the homes warm and free from evil spirits.
The November 1st festival was called Samhain (pronounced "sow-en"). The festival would last for three days. Many people would parade in costumes made from the skins and heads of their animals. This festival would, in essence, become the first Halloween
During the first century the Romans invaded the Celtic lands of Great Britain. The Roman army brought with it many festivals and customs. One of these was the festival of Pomona Day, named for the Roman goddess of fruit and gardens. Pomona Day, like Samhain, was celebrated around the 1st of November. After hundreds of years under Roman rule, the Celtic traditions of Samhain intermingled with those of the Roman Pomona Day, and evolved into a single holiday
With the later spread of Christianity throughout Europe and Britain, the Roman Catholic Church decreed in 835 AD that the first day of November would be held in honor of all saints. This day became All Saints Day, or Hallowmas, or All-Hallows. Years after than, the Church would also make November 2nd a holy day in honor of the dead -- All Souls Day. In many ways similar to the ancient Celtic traditions, the day was celebrated with big bonfires, parades, and people dressing up as saints, angels and devils.
Christianity’s spread and influence did not supplant the early Celtic or Roman customs, however. On the eve of All Hallows, Oct. 31, people throughout Britain, France, and Europe continued to celebrate the twin festivals of Samhain and Pomona Day. As time went on, the customs of all these holidays continued to mix. October 31st became known as All Hallow Even, then All Hallow's Eve, Hallowe'en, and finally, Halloween.
Halloween as its celebrated today includes aspects of all its past influences: the apples, nuts, and harvest themes of Pomona Day, black cats, magic, evil spirits and death imagery that was integral to the Festival of Samhain, and the ghosts, skeletons and skulls associated with All Saint's and All Soul's Day.
Costumes for the Comp
A Great Pumpkin................................................... The Graveyard Shift........................................................ Black Cat Fever
Red Skull At Night......................................................................................................................................................Blue Shape Face
Top Graphic:
Nobody does Halloween like our buddy The Green Goblin!

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