screaming in your sleep
I was interested in finding out a little bit more about my favorite holiday. I found this simple explanation of Halloween in a book called, Looking into the Past: peoples, places and customs: Ancient and Annual Customs, by Dwayne Pickels.
“With Christianity’s rise in pagan Celtic nations, the custom was adapted into a vigil for the feast of All Saints’ Day (November 1), and observed on October 31, otherwise known as All Hallows’ Eve—thus the modern word, Halloween.
“Nonetheless, it was believed that on this night the veil that separates the world of mortals and the normally inaccessible “Otherworld” became thin or disappeared completely. This allowed the inhabitants of that dimension—spirits of the dead and the magical faeris (also know as the sidhe)—to freely enter the world of the living.
“On this perilous night, Celtic peoples of the Birtish Isles lit bonfires to keep these malecoelnt soirit visitors at bay. But with the Celtic love of a good time, they also spent evening immersed in merriment, enjoying a variety of sports and games…Many people—engaging in a custom that came to be know as “the guisers”—would don disguises resembling all manner of supernatural hosts and masquerade around the villages to confuse the spirits, which evolved into the modern tradition of trick or treat.”
I'll go with that. Woot.
And the best poem to read around Halloween. Here is an excerpt of "The Raven," by Edgar Allan Poe. Full poem here.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -Only this, and nothing more.'
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -This it is, and nothing more,'