During the NYC we missed Halloween!

Halloween is also thought to have been heavily influenced by the Christian
holy days of All Saints’ Day (also known as Hallowmas, All Hallows, and
Hallowtide) and All Souls’ Day. Falling on November 1 and 2 respectively,
collectively they were a time for honoring the saints and praying for the
recently departed who had yet to reach heaven. By the end of the 12th
century they had become days of holy obligation across Europe and
involved such traditions as ringing bells for the souls in purgatory
and “souling”, the custom of baking bread or soul cakes for “all
crysten [ christened ] souls”. It was traditionally believed that the
souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints’ Day, and
All Hallows’ Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain
vengeance on their enemies before moving onto the next world.
To avoid being recognised by a vengeful soul, Christians would
wear masques and costumes to disguise themselves, following
the lighted candles set by others to guide their travel for worship
the next day. Today, this practice has been perpetuated through
It was not until the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that the holiday
was introduced to the North American continent in earnest. Initially confined to the immigrant
communities during the mid-19th century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society
and by the first decade of the 20th century it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of
all social, racial and religious backgrounds.


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