Halloween is one holiday that has continued to grow in popularity in North America. While once considered mainly a day for children, it has since evolved into a popular day for adults to dress up and party. While Halloween greeting cards have never been as common as those of other holidays, particularly Christmas, they have begun to have a stronger presence in both stores and online. The cards have evolved over time to reflect the growing fascination with the holiday.
The Pagan Roots of Halloween
Halloween has never been a Christian holiday. The early Church never tried to incorporate it into its calendar. Instead, they had their own time of recognizing the blessed dead and their ghostly presence. While scholars disagree, it is most probable that the Christians of the time took their lead from ancient Celtic celebrations, particularly that of Samhain, mentioned in the ancient Coligny Calendar.
Samhaine was the end of harvest. It was a feast day fixed for November 1 on the Gregorian calendar and predates Christianity. On the Celtic calendar, it stands as one of the most important festival days of the year. To the Druids it was a Fire Festival, a time for lighting the fires for communal celebrations. In Ireland, the feast day is one of fur such prominent festivals:
* Samhaine – November 1
* Beltaine – May 1
* Imbolc – February 1
* Lugnasad –August 1
Samhaine marked the end of summer and the beginning of the New Year. It also was the time of year to recognize the dead ancestors. This was something the Romans and Greeks also marked. It was a custom that did not inspire fear but was meant to acknowledge and honor those who had passed. Samhaine was the marking of a time between – a time of the death of the old and the beginning of the new. It was a time when the veil between the two worlds – the living and he dead, was at its thinnest making anything seem possible. This did not mean, however, that all ghosts would have been welcome. Yet, death was not something to be feared. It was to be respected and accepted as part of life.
Halloween: From Then To Now
Over the centuries, this tradition has evolved into something that brushes aside the ancestor aspect. Instead, today’s costumes and Halloween greeting cards are more likely to deal with the macabre or the cute aspect of ghosts, goblins and vampires. Yet some of the other worldliness of Samhaine still remains and Halloween is still capable of letting us let loose our imaginations and reach out to other, less visible worlds.
When it comes to Halloween Greeting Cards we can be absolutely ghoulish.
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