Date: 2018-02-07 16:19
The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as “going a-souling” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food and money.
Lugh was not only one of Ireland’s early high kings, but a demi- god. His father was of the Tuatha Dé Danann and his mother was of the Formorian race, supernatural beings who celebrated chaos and wildness.
Borrowing from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors.
There are four festivals in total, Samhain to mark the end of harvest and the start of Winter, Imbolc to celebrate the start of Spring, Beltane brings forth Summer and Lughnasa (or Lughnasdh) marks the start of Harvest.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing the Irish Potato Famine , helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally.
Lugh’s foster mother was Tailtiu, a fertility goddess who died of exhaustion after clearing the rugged and barren landscape and preparing the fields of Ireland for the sowing of crops.
Crom Dubh was not just known as the sacrificial god from whom the terrifying Dullahan was born, but was also a god of fertility and human sacrifices were made in exchange for fertile land and bountiful cattle. Thankfully the sacrifices are no more, however the last Sunday in July is referred to as Crom Dubh Sunday in rural areas and mountain climbs and celebrations in the name of the dark crooked one take place.
Competitions for physical prowess included athletics, swordfighting, archery, horseracing and swimming, while other challenges were in the Arts. Storytelling, song and dance were of high importance and awards went to the best smiths, weavers and armourers of the day.
In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl’s future husband. (In some versions of this legend, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.)