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Samhain: The History of Halloween

by d-hernandez

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The history of Halloween. Presentation for my Irish club.
[If the video does not appear, it is the History Channel's "The Haunted History of Halloween." Not the whole thing... just a 10 minute clip.]
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How Halloween was born… Celts- the ancient Irish, Gaels, Welsh, and Bretons. The word came from the Greek word “Keltoi” meaning “strangers.” Samhain (SOW•EN)- the pagan festival that became today’s Halloween. It literally means “summer’s end.”  Druid- the priests/priestesses of the Celts’ pagan faith. In Gaelic: Báirín Breac (meaning “Speckled Loaf ”) This cake is traditionally baked on Samhain. It is thought to have prophetic powers. In Gaelic: Báirín Breac (meaning “Speckled Loaf ”) There are 9 things hidden in the cake: 3 rings, 3 coins, and 3 buttons. In Gaelic: Báirín Breac (meaning “Speckled Loaf ”) Traditionally, the cake contains: •Button/thimble: symbolizes bachelorhood/spinsterhood •A small piece of cloth or tiny rag: symbolizes poverty •Coin: symbolizes wealth •Matchstick: symbolizes the husband will beat the wife •Gold ring: symbolizes marriage •Religious medal: symbolizes the recipient is destined for Holy Orders In Gaelic: Báirín Breac (meaning “Speckled Loaf ”) Ingredients! •Tea •Eggs •Nutmeg •Cinnamon •Butter •Flour •Sugar •Milk •Salt •Yeast •Currants and raisins These parshells are to be crafted and then hung on your door to ward off evil spirits during Samhain. Here is what you need to make them: •Two sticks about 6-12 inches long •Tape or string to tie the sticks together •Raffia or straw Instructions: •Fasten the two sticks together securely at right angles to form a cross (use tape or string). •Untwist raffia and flatten it out but not too flat-it should resemble corn stalk/husk. •Wedge raffia under one and over the other stick starting in the center. •Moving clockwise weave the raffia over one stick and under the next going around the cross. Stop before you get to the ends of the sticks -- a few inches of stick should be exposed. How Halloween was born…
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