Halloween is almost here and everybody’s getting excited. Providing the ultimate excuse to get scared, we dress up in costumes, go trick or treating, and party for the dark side… it’s kind of weird when you think about it. These are strange activities and it begs the question, who came up with these ideas? Bobbing for apples, why would we do that? Have you ever wondered? To help you get into the spirit of the season, here are the origin stories of our Halloween traditions.
Halloween originates from the ancient Celtic holiday Samhain (pronounced sow-in) and is celebrated on the day before Celtic New year. A very superstitious people, the Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the veil between the living and the dead was thin. Spirits could crossover into our world and we could cross over into theirs. To the Celts, this was a catastrophe. They believed that spirits were responsible for causing a great deal of mischief and could wreak havoc in the coming year. However, the Celts also believed that this time of year could be used to predict the future. To protect themselves, they would sacrifice animals and wear the skins, then light bonfires and tell fortunes.
Bobbing for apples
By 43 A.D., The majority of Celtic territory was now a part of the Roman Empire. Rather than wipe out the holiday, Samhain was combined with Feralia, the ancient Roman Day of the dead, and Pomona, a holiday to honor the goddess of fruit. According to Roman mythology, Pomona was the goddess of orchard fruit and protected cultivation. Symbolized with an apple, she was celebrated at the end of October, in appreciation for another year’s harvest. Bobbing for apples is the way we say thanks.
If you’ve ever stuck your face in water and tried to pick up an apple with your teeth, Pomona says you’re welcome.
All Saints Day
At a first conservative Christian glance, Halloween could look like devil worship. For some reason, it’s not taken that way. The reason is that Halloween is the night before All Saints Day. November 1st, the day after Halloween is a church-sanctioned holiday to honor all Christian martyrs and Saints. Created to replace the Celtic celebration, people lit bonfires and dressed up as devils, angels, and witches. They would honor the dead in the darkness of evening and celebrate the church in daylight. All Saints Day became known as All-Hallows, from The Middle English word Alholowmesse (translates to All Saints Day). The night before All Saints Day was known as All-Hallows Eve.
Trick or Treating in costume
According to ancient folklore, a ghost’s favorite pastime is making a mess. Nothing is more satisfying to a spirit than vandalism. Did you work hard growing all those crops? If a ghost comes along, consider them destroyed! That is unless you bribe them… this is the essence of trick or treating. Back in the day, a pagan farmer would slaughter livestock and leave out offerings as a sacrifice to the spirits. To many, the food left out was irresistible but so were the consequences of stealing from a ghost. To avoid any trouble, they dressed up in costumes, trying to scare away any suspicion. The tradition has evolved over centuries but albeit, not by much.
Celebrate Halloween by paying your respect to a good crop harvest of cannabis! Roll up a joint as an offering to the spirits and smoke it to get them high off your fumes; bonus points with the goddess Pomona if it’s apple kush strain.
Halloween Parties Passed…
Here at the Cannabis Life Network and Studio 710, we really love a good Halloween Party. Do you remember the SeC Halloween party? For those of you who missed it, here’s a look back at the good times.