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Silly String and Samhain: Halloween Staples

25 October on Gifts   Tags: , , , , , ,

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Just how did the Halloween shenanigans of the Autumn season come into prominence? Most know about "Trick or Treat" traditions. And many people absolutely love diving into the spirit of the year! Couples on the market for sexy gifts can really get away with them during Halloween. Sexy gifts in the form of a costume or undergarment are always laughable and usually appropriate. As far as Halloween gifts go, sex or candy is likely to be featured. Some Halloween gifts are even sexy candy. But how did we get here? Did people always dress up in Halloween t-shirts with little idealized skeletons on them--are Halloween t-shirts intrinsic to the celebration itself? Was there some ancient ritual involving a sexy nurse, some candy, and a t-shirt?

Thankfully, in order that the world may not go mad, answers exist to these questions. The origins of this hilarious holiday stem back centuries, to a thing originally called "All Hallows Eve". But even before that, back in Celtic times there was a celebration called the Festival of Samhain. Samhain means literally "Summer's end", and is supposed to be pronounced "saah-win", or perhaps "saa-ween" depending on the speaker's accent. The celebration is conventionally for the end of the harvest, and oftentimes hearkens to a kind of spiritual new year's beginning. Think of this holiday as a Pagan version of Mardi Gras right before lent. And yes, it is a festival of the dead. Like the year has killed the green in Autumn, but slowly, this holiday celebrates the cycle of life.

Funny skull hoodie

In Celtic times, people used to light bonfires and then don a variety of costumes in order that roaming demons would feign from assailing them. In a twist ironic to many who dislike this holiday, November 1st was designated by Pope Gregory III as a Catholic time to vindicate saints and martyrs with honor--that's where the term "All Saints' Day" comes from. But wait a sec; how does that relate to October 31st and Samhain? Turns out those Celts just figured it was a double holiday and incorporated traditions of the former into the latter, in finest Celtic fashion. This is also where the term "All Hallows Eve" comes from, as this was the night before the day of saint commemoration. "e'en" is an abbreviation of "even", which is a shortened form of "evening". "Hallow" combined with "e'en" gives us the name of the holiday.

As time went by, people forgot that the costume shenanigans of the evening before the commemoration of the saints had anything whatsoever to do with remembering those who had put their lives on the line for their faith in Christ. Everybody got caught up in the traditions of the time, which often involved fun costumes and a variety of treats.

Part of the reason Trick or Treating began is from the process of "souling", whereby costumed individuals would walk from community to community begging for bread and offering prayer in return. This became a means for the impoverished to stock up a little before the cold winter. But as well, trick or treating also refers to some mischievous threat, or sustenance in the form of a pastry, candy, or other tasty item. What happens is, in olden times if the person chose the "trick", suddenly carte blanche was given to the tricky kids involved, and this mischief would be performed on the house.

Ghost t-shirt

Today, communities around the world celebrate this holiday by sending kids and young adults around the neighborhood in a variety of colorful costumes. They'll ring the doorbell on the eve before the Catholic saintly commemoration period, and they'll say: "Trick or treat!", then hold out bags for candy. This is, by and large, the practice across the globe for All Hallow's Eve.

There are some interesting exigencies in individual regions worth considering also. For example, in Hollywood there's a $1000 fine for use, possession, or sale of silly string on this most ridiculous of holidays.

Now regardless of whether or not your perspective on this holiday is the family-friendly Christian one replete with trick-or-treat shenanigans and costumes, or the celebration of the Wiccan New Year via Samhain ideology, what should be considered is that this night of the year necessarily involves some levels of craziness. If you've got a cat, lock that cat up, lest some Wiccan adherent have a ritual in mind, or some kids get it into their heads to stone the feline with jawbreakers. This night of the year can be fun, or it can be dangerous. So why not have fun? Be safe, be smart, and use this time of year as an opportunity to spend time with friends and family. Give creative gifts--like custom made t-shirts, or costumes! There are all kinds of spooky gift ideas out there; use your imagination!

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