Wednesday, October 29, 2008

13 Days of Halloween: 3 {Halloween History}

Thanks so much to those of you that have left such kind comments that you are enjoying these 13 Days of Halloween posts. It really is a fun little challenge for me to come up with something each day and dig into my Halloween "archives". For example, today I thought I'd share a bit about Halloween history and pictures from my own past. Halloween traces its roots to the ancient Celts, who once occupied the British Isles and northern France. They celebrated their New Year on November 1st and believed that on the night before, the barrier was weakened between the land of the living and that of the dead. Building huge bonfires to keep the ghosts away, the Celts wore disguises so that the spirits would stay away. Christianity adopted the holiday in the 7th Century A.D., decreeing November 1st All Souls' Day. The night before became known as All Hallows' Eve, or Hallowe'en.
Although Halloween had been celebrated for centuries in Europe, it first became popular in the United States in the 1870's. Regarded primarily as a holiday for adults, celebrations focused on the more whimsical rather than frightening aspects of Halloween. The holiday experienced a decline and then a rebirth in the 1920's among adults. Before long it was appropriated by children and in recent years grown-ups have once again reclaimed their share of festivities.

Text taken from Antiques and Collecting magazine, October 2008.
For myself, as you can see in these pictures, I have enjoyed Halloween since I was quite young. I think my love of the holiday was really fostered by my next door neighbor and her wonderful neighborhood Halloween parties held each year throughout my childhood. She converted her garage into a haunted house, had games such as bobbing for apples, pin the face on the pumpkin and other non-scary, family oriented Halloween fun. I looked forward to hear parties each year for months in advance.
This is a picture of Joe and I when Lowell was a baby. I knew that I wanted to foster this love of imagination, playfulness and make-believe in our own children. I am happy to see their love of carving pumpkins and dressing up taking shape.
I know there are many of you out there that love this holiday as much as I do. I'd love to hear your story about how the joy of Halloween took root.


Sid Simpson said...

Our family had an Appalacian/Mountain/Celtic folk appropach to the holiday. Fun and games for sure- but also a deep belief in returning ancestors and spirits. The general idea was that anything could happen on Halloween night. You had to have good candy because anybody-dear passed away relatives, good fairies, imps waiting to do harm- anybody could be at the door, so you needed to make good. That idea extended into costumes too- for one night, you could be anybody you wanted to be. As an adult, I label Halloween as the night of infinite possibility.

have a lovely said...

love the pics from when you were little...adorable!!!

Shannon said...

I am loving your 13 days series and have been checking in everyday! For me, Halloween was always just okay, till my second son was born. My older son was 2 1/2, and I was very pregnant that October. My older son asked for a fireman costume, the first time he had actually asked for anything really. So although I was near my date, tired, cranky, I loaded him into the car and stalked three stores till I found one that worked in Walmart, four days before Halloween. Well, sadly I never got to see him in that costume---my water broke at 1:00am, October 31st! So my aunt stayed with my older son and took him trick or treating, and I got my own Halloween punkin named Nate. He'll be three on Friday, and now it's one of my absolute favorite days of the year! (Hmm I need to blog this)

Recycled Rita said...

No wonder your children are so beautiful, they look just like you did when you were little! You all are such a nice family!
xoxo karen....

KarenHarveyCox said...

Wonderful photographs Kari. 13 days of Halloween what a great idea. You sure were adorable.

Wendy said...

What great old pictures! I dont think I have a single Halloween photo of my from my childhood.

Sugar Bear said...

I love Halloween too. I was born on Oct. 27 and always had a Halloween themed party. My mother was afraid I would be born on Oct. 31 - which I think would have been quite fun! My first day home was Halloween. It has always had a special place in my heart.

Chris said...

I've been trying to figure out when I fell in love with Halloween, and I just can't remember. I seem to have vacillated in my appreciation for it throughout my life. But I guess the latest encarnation of my love for Halloween began about 10 years ago. At least that's when I remember first really getting into decorating. And then the past few years, when I started working in art, it's really been a passion! After reading so much about the history of it, the celebrations in other countries, and seeing so much of the fall festive art and craft, I've really loved this season.

Happy Halloween!

Fabulous Finds Studio said...

I love looking at the old photographs..always brings back memories! That clown costume is so adorable!
Have a fabulous day!

Dianne said...

Your daughter looks so much like you as a girl!
I like the photo of you and your husband and son a lot!
My mom really instilled a love of Halloween in us. My younger brother really goes all out with the decorations. He's still a big kid. I remember helping him with his costumes a few times as I'm 7 yrs older than him.

Lavender Dreamer said...

Great pictures! I haven't seen costumes like that since I was a kid! It sure brings back memories! My sister always had to be a cat...would love to find one of those costumes!