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Happy Halloween!

Halloween History & Origin – from Wikipedia

Halloween is the one of the oldest holidays still celebrated today. It’s one of the most popular holidays, second only to Christmas. While millions of people celebrate Halloween without knowing its origins and myths, the history and facts of Halloween make the holiday more fascinating.

Some people view Halloween as a time for fun, putting on costumes, trick-or-treating, and having theme parties. Others view it as a time of superstitions, ghosts, goblins and evil spirits that should be avoided at all costs.

As the Christian debate goes on, celebrating Halloween is a preference that is not always viewed as participating in an evil holiday. Halloween is often celebrated with no reference to pagan rituals or the occult.

Halloween History

Halloween is on October 31st, the last day of the Celtic calendar. It was originally a pagan holiday, honoring the dead. Halloween was referred to as

All Hallows Eve and dates back to over 2000 years ago.

All Hallows Eve is the evening before All Saints Day, which was created by Christians to convert pagans, and is celebrated on November 1st. The Catholic church honored saints on this designated day.

pumpkins

Origin of Halloween

While there are many versions of the origins and old customs of Halloween, some remain consistent by all accounts. Different cultures view Halloween somewhat differently but traditional Halloween practices remain the same.

Halloween culture can be tr aced back to the Druids, a Celtic culture in Ireland, Britain and Northern Europe. Roots lay in the feast of Samhain, which was annually on October 31st to honor the dead.

Samhain signifies “summers end” or November. Samhain was a harvest festival with huge sacred bonfires, marking the end of the Celtic year and beginning of a new one. Many of the practices involved in this celebration were fed on superstition.

The Celts believed the souls of the dead roamed the streets and villages at night. Since not all spirits were thought to be friendly, gifts and treats were left out to pacify the evil and ensure next years crops would be plentiful. This custom evolved into trick-or-treating.

Austin, TX- 6th Street on Halloween – from Capstone Acquisitions

6th Street, Austin’s most famous entertainment district, is busy on regular evenings, particularly on the weekend. Halloween, as you can imagine, is usually off the charts and barely containable.

It’s hard to believe that after all the hassle it takes to get down there, so many people still go – including myself or used to in my younger days. Depending on where you live in Austin, it usually takes 20-30 minutes to get to 6th, followed by several minutes of bobbing and weaving through one-way streets, pedicabs and jaywalkers. The amount of time it takes to find a cheap parking spot or valet, close to the club you want, is just ridiculous if you don’t know your way around.

Austin Halloween

To be completely honest, it’s not for everyone. I would compare it to the insanity and pure ridiculousness of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, just on a smaller scale. 6th street is blocked off for blocks in each direction, and there are people absolutely everywhere.

There are costumes of all shapes and sizes. The thought and creativity that is put into some of the costumes you will see down there is unmatched. From what I remember, these are not kid friendly costumes. So prepare yourself for lots of cleavage, ass cracks, exposed boobs, fake penises, 6 packs, party balls, and 300 lb people in thongs. You will laugh so hard you might cry. People watching from a vantage point with a cold beverage does not get much better than on Halloween night. Come early and stay late is the mantra.

Here is a great documentary that a fellow Austinite made on the madness and craziness of Halloween on 6th Street: http://www.hulu.com/watch/177438/halloween-on-6th-street.

At the end of every night on 6th Street, the street itself is cram-packed with people heading to their cars, stragglers trying to find their friends, people sitting on the curb eating pizza, drunk kids stumbling, and cops lined up and down the streets to scout for future jailbirds. (Word to the wise: Make sure you have a designated driver or be a hipster and use Uber.)

Have a safe and fun Halloween evening where ever you are. I’ll be relaxing in North Austin Suburbia. On my driveway handing out candy with my brothers, drinking a cold one as our kids run around with their friends. Let the holiday season begin.

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