Archive for October, 2008


What Halloween Gifts Can You Give?

Everyone gives and receives gifts on the major holidays like Christmas and their birthdays, but you can also give Halloween gifts. Why not give out a few gifts to those ghosts and goblins that you call friends and family? It’s something that everyone will enjoy.

There are actually traditional gifts to give at Halloween. It all started way back in history with the ancient Celts who left gifts of nuts and fruits on their doorsteps. These were meant to appease the spirits of the restless family members who were thought to wander the earth on this very special day. These can make such nice Halloween gifts using baskets of nuts and fruits to fit this old tradition. You can even say that you are appeasing the appetites of your friends and family.

Although, there will be a time when nuts and fruits just won’t work. That’s when you go for the more modern varieties of gifts for Halloween. Candy is the most popular aspect of Halloween. Chocolate, suckers, caramel popcorn balls, and anything else that gives the required sugar rush. You can find such things as personalized candy gift sets at many websites, and they always go over well.

The next choice for Halloween gifts is a bit spookier and more suited to the hardcore fan of the darker side of Halloween. These are things like finding a couple good old fashion scary movies that make your skin crawl, and your heart rate jump up in the red. Add to these movies other things that make the night pass eerily, like novelty candy specifically for Halloween. Anything that has to do with skulls and severed body parts will usually work out fairly well. This way, your friends or family members can sit back on a cold dark night and watch their movies while enjoying some gummy eyeballs.

Halloween gifts for those who celebrate this day religiously, you might throw in a set of decorations. These could be something to add to the collection of spiders and tombstones they place around their house every year. These gifts are easy to find online and at most stores that sell Halloween items. The newest craze is the blow up sets that sit in your front yard. These include giant witches, vampires, ghosts, and monsters of all shapes and sizes. Although these gift ideas might be a bit more pricy in the long run, they will make the holiday a bit more fun for those who really dive right into the festivities.

What ever your choice for Halloween gifts this year, try to find the one that fits the person you are shopping for. Small children might not enjoy watching horror movies, and the adults probably wouldn’t care too much for little candy treats.  Or maybe they will. Buy Halloween gifts you know the person will enjoy, whatever that may be.

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History of Halloween

The original history of Halloween is certainly one of the most intriguing of all the holidays. Oddly enough, the word Halloween was originated in the Catholic Church, and was initially known as All Saints Day, or All Hallows Eve. November 1st is a day that the Catholics held to honor the saints. The true history goes back much further than this, though.

October 31st was the day when summer officially ended for 5th century BC Ireland. It was believed by the Celts that ghosts walked among the living on this day. They called this holiday Samhain. It was the time of the third and last harvest of the year. It was also the Celtic New Year. The Celts observed this day as their New Year most likely because the sun is at its lowest point on the horizon. This was measured by Britain and Ireland’s ancient standing stones.

The history of Halloween becomes a bit more interesting when it is known that the Druids used this day to sacrifice victims to their deities. This sacrifice was conducted by burning their victims in cages made from wicker. Before this ceremony began, all fires were extinguished. They were all lit again from the sacrificial fire following the end of the ceremony.

This once pagan holiday was made into a Christian festival from the efforts of Pope Boniface. Initially, these holidays were celebrated on May 13. A century later, it was changed to November 1st by Pope Gregory III. This is how it remains to this day. This meant October 31st was not the last day of the year any longer, and Samhain was changed to The Feast of All Saints.

Modern pagans and Wiccans today have returned to the history of Halloween in their celebrations. They observe October 31st as Halloween or Samhain, and honor it as their New Year. This is the day believed to be when the veil that separates the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Samhain is also the day that the pagan god dies, to be re-born again during Yule. These pagans use Samhain as a day to remember and honor dead loved ones. It is a celebration of the eternal cycle of reincarnation.

For Europeans, the history of Halloween eventually changed into a celebration revolving around children. Over the years, these children began to dress up as “ghosts”, going from house to house asking for treats. If the unlucky home owners did not give them treats some questionable tricks would be played on them. This tradition came to the United States with the Irish immigrants sometime during the 1840’s.

Another interesting part of the history of Halloween is that many traditions around the celebration of the Christian All Souls Day seem to involve the dead in some way. It is also known that many of the Christian customs actually have their origins in pagan roots, this of course includes Halloween!

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