Posted by Word Camel on November 22, 2002
In Reply to: Re: Re:Staw Man vs Man of Straw posted by Shae on November 22, 2002
: : : : : : : The potential druidic link is interesting, since November 5th - Guy Fawkes night - falls very close to the date of the Celtic fire festival of Samhain. Does anyone have any referenced examples of the tradition pre-dating 1605?
: : : no references, but the fire festival is actually current with most wiccans on samhain even today.
: : : ( referenced by my own religious practices and the hundred of people at our annual "Parade of Lost Souls" and fire festival on Samhain )
: : According to Nicholas Rogers, in his book "Halloween", Samhain and Halloween have different origins. The Celtic festival was more of a harvest festival in which livestock were slaughtered and people were sacrificed (if you believe the Romans). Halloween, in contrast has its roots in the All Hallows Eve which is a mainly Catholic festival that is specifically to do with the dead and ancestor worship. This is celebrated all over Catholic Europe - the more Catholic the country, the more gruesome and over-the-top the celebration - think drunken Italians parading through the charnal houses in fancy dress.
: : In Britain, Guy Fawkes Day seems have arisen as become the anti catholic alternative to All Hallows Eve.
: : Having said that, it seems likely that Guy Fawkes Day is probably related to the Celtic festival in the sense that it tries to take the place of a festival (All Hallows) which melted with Samhain in the first place.
: There is a minor inaccuracy in Ms Camel's post. November 1st is All Saints' Day in the Catholic calendar. It was established in the 9th century to commemorate the martyrs who were too numerous to have individual feast days. The following day, All Souls' Day, is the one dedicated to the souls of ones ancestors.
Raised as a godless heathen, I often make this sort of mistake. For instance, for many years I thought that the ashes on the forehead for lent were in fact "lint".