Halloween" is a contracted form of "Holy Evening" and refers to the evening of All Saints Day (November 1), when Christians traditionally remember believers of other times who are especially good role models of faith; many of whom were persecuted, tortured, and/or died rather than renounce Christ. The Christian Church kept the Jewish custom of marking a holiday (contracted form of "holy day") for the twenty-four hours beginning with sundown and ending with sundown the following day. Even today Christmas Eve is almost as special as Christmas Day; and in Eastern Orthodox churches, the resurrection (Easter) is first celebrated on Easter Saturday at sundown. Another tradition the Church inherited from its first century Jewish roots was to divide each year into commemorative events, doctrinal remembrances, holidays or seasons so that, throughout the calendar year, the God's redemptive history would be recounted. This is called the "Church year" or "Church calendar." It took many centuries before most of the dates were standardized throughout the Church. Some Protestant churches today do not follow a church calendar except for Christmas, Easter, and perhaps Pentecost.
Although marked a special day to honor believers of the past, there was no consistency in the dating of All Saints Day until Christianity began to flourish in northern Europe and the British Isles. There Christians found well-entrenched pagan harvest/winter festivals. One of the best known was called Samhain. They determined that All Saints Day should be celebrated at the same time to directly challenge the sentiments of pagan festivals of the season, including Samhain.
This harvest/end of the year holidays generally celebrated the end of the harvest, the beginning of winter, and death. Just as crops live and then die, just as the sun rules for a long time and then ""dies"" until it shines for only a short time during the day, so all humans and animals eventually die. One of the common pagan beliefs was that the spirits of those who died during the previous year could not go to their ""final resting place"" until they were properly prepared with possessions, wealth, food, and drink (either for themselves or to pay the god who ruled the next world). Until then, their spirits wandered where they had lived and died. A common pagan tradition was to placate the spirits and send them off on a one-way trip to the nether world by ""treating"" them. If a spirit was not ""treated"" well, it would ""trick,"" or haunt, those who had neglected preparing it for leaving this world.
Bananas Flambeed with Rum and Soft Caramel If you are following a vegetarian diet, you will find flaming banana dessert rum useful. It is recommended for those who prefer sweet flavors. People often consume flaming banana with...More...