Friday, October 15, 2010

Celtic New Year - Postcard Friendship Friday #33

 

Most historians believe the holiday of Hallows Eve began with the Celtic festival of Samhain.  In old Irish the name means "summer's end."  Ancient Britons held a similar festival known as Calan Gaeaf.  The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half" and is sometimes called the Celtic New Year.

The Celts believed the border between our world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing both good and bad spirits to pass through.  It is thought the tradition of wearing costumes and masks began at that time when people would disguise themselves, believing this would fool any harmful spirits.

Samhain was also a time to take stock and harvest food supplies for the coming winter. When all was ready for the great cold, there was a great feast and all families built bonfires into which they would cast the bones of the cattle they'd butchered.

It is always so interesting to see how our traditions got started.  I found this one to be particularly fascinating--perhaps it is the Irish in my soul.

To see more mailboxes and all things postal, visit Gemma at Greyscale Territory for Weekend Mailbox.


14 comments:

Debs said...

a great card and well researched post! is he holding a football rattle above his head?!

Lois said...

I love the expression on the jack o lantern's face and that little boy is adorable!

Joy said...

The little boy seems to have attracted all the symbols of this time of year. The rattle should keep away any evil spirits.

MrCachet said...

Once again Beth, thank you for hosting PFF. And once again, I've just gotten back from a thousand mile road trip, and I won't be playing myself - but will be playing along!

Bob of Holland said...

Hi Beth, thanks for your magnificent card and for hosting PFF again. I enjoy it each friday again. Your work is really appreciated. Greetings from Amsterdam!

www.dakotaboo.com said...

Lovely card. I've never seen anything like these in the UK.

Funoldhag said...

Hi, Beth! I love old Halloween cards and that is just such a great one. I have been enjoying this postcard posting - glad I found it even though I am not a collector. Thanks for putting it all together! :-) Carol

Paula said...

Happy Friday, Beth!
What a wonderful card ... it is quite fascinating learning how our traditions have come about. When one learns the history behind them, a new light is shed on the way we partake in the celebrations! I greatly thank you for time you put forth on each post ... I am soulfully enriched with each visit at your special place! ~ With {{hugs}} P.

Dorincard said...

Cool card, but I don't think that the harmful spirits are so naive. They are ghoulish, not foolish. :)

Sheila said...

And the soul cakes, given to soulers who went from door to door.

Love the postcard. As Dakotaboo says, we never see anything like it in the UK.

papel1 said...

I always enjoy PFF. Thanks for hosting it. Nice postcard
Judy

Greyscale Territory said...

Such a sweet postcard! It is filled with joy! And love the subtle colour tones!

steviewren said...

Love the postcard and the Irish history lesson!

Kathy said...

Hello! This is my first visit! I am visiting via Pink Saturday! I love your vintage cards! Love reading the history - am Irish too!
God Bless,
Kathy