Scary has never been my cup of tea. My mother innocently took me on the seemingly sweet Snow White ride in Disney World in 1993, and promptly had to find an emergency exit after I was paralyzed by the horrifying Evil Queen continuously popping up on our ride through the darkness. I also remember being overwhelmed by nightmares after fleeing a (probably very tame?) Haunted House hosted by the Catholic Church in my hometown.
My Halloween costumes have always been fairies or princesses- #NoScaryHalloween. Nothing has changed and as an adult. I’m that friend who can’t watch to horror films, handle the gruesomeness Game of Thrones, and closes her eyes on the dark kingdom ride at Busch Gardens.
Did you know, this holiday didn’t used to be so dark and creepy! Here’s a bit from Gwyndelyn the Good Witch to explain what the origins of the scary we know today as Halloween.
It’s important to remember, as we are surrounded by scary skulls, tombstones, and ghoulish gremlins that fear is NOT what Halloween originally celebrated. Halloween at it’s roots is a time to celebrate the Harvest – as we enter the cold dark months of Winter. Celts called this time “Samhain” meaning “summer’s-end”. The time where they would make haste in preparing for the Winter – a time of uncertainty as health practices were not as swift as they are today. Success of the last harvest was crucial to them surviving winter. These people relied on what came naturally form the earth to keep them healthy through the cold months. During this time in history the sun was what kept humanity alive- allowing crops, so it’s not wonder they strongly revered and respected it.
The Harvest was also a time to remember loved ones passed. This is where the death, skeletons, and dark side of Halloween has been drawn in and embellished. Though death may a scary thought for some, fear was never the intent of this celebration! Families held great respect and love for their passed loved ones and would even set a place at the dinner table for them on the night of Samhain. Remembering those gone is something that shows up in every culture in the world- think about The Day of the Dead in the Kingdom of Mexico! Our ancestors would surely not return to haunt and spook us, but instead be there as wise and loving guardians. We have the modern world to thank for the obscurement of this sweet tradition.
Surely we can change our minds to think of this day instead as a day to celebrate our lives and those who’ve gone before us?
Intrigued? Read more about Gwyndelyn’s Halloween traditions and the Good Witch Ball.
I hope you remember this when you go about Trick-or-Treating (Oh! Listen to this podcast to learn about the History of Halloween candy) with the vampires and goblins of your town through the homemade ghosts trees and plastic tombstones bought from Target. Perhaps you’ll start to see this holiday in the light instead of the dark.
Much love! Happy HALLOWEEN!