“Christmas” is preceded by “Hallowmas”?
HALLOWMAS (halʹō mɘs, -masʹ) n. former name for All Saints’ Day. [Think celebrating sainted spirits …if you lived through the night before hell.]
|Painting by Guido di Pietro, 15th century.|
How former, you ask? It reaches back to somewhere between 731-741. And of course, All Saints’ Day is November 1, to honor … well … all saints. [Clever.]
Want to get in the mood? Melanie Rigney’s new book, Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from the Stories of the Women Saints is especially appropriate; religious or not, Catholic or not, there is excellent life advice to be gleaned from it.
How does Hallowmas make the Weird Halloween Words list? It’s preceded by All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween) on October 31, a night on which the veil between us and the afterlife is particularly thin.
Of course, we don masks so the menacing souls on “the other side,” won’t recognize us, as we feast in preparation for the next two celebratory days. Seriously – they won’t know it’s you under that Star Wars: the Force Awakens Kylo Ren helmet-head, or traditionally sexy Bat Girl mask. And then what happens ...?
We wrap up our three-day merriment with All Souls’ Day, November 2nd, which honors all the unsaintly dearly departed – or just plain, ordinarily human folks – who have passed through our lives.
Some close friends and family will know where I’m going with the Six weeks of Weird Halloween Words. Most warn, “Straight to hell!” At which point we laugh and have another chocolate pumpkin.
I chose six weeks, as a half-witted spoof on the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” And … yes, I will attempt to come up with an equally nonsensical “chant” to unveil in the sixth-week post. Attempt being the key word.
There is a madness to my method (purposely skewed ol’ cliché), and if you know what my book series topic is, you might easily guess to what subject the Halloween week word will refer. The rest of you will need to follow me to the spooky end. ;-)
Hallowmas is, in some circles, the early term for All Saints’ Day and nothing else; but for some it’s a synonym
And we’re back to the confusion that is Halloween – is it a strictly pagan / Druid holiday? Or is it a religious celebration?
Make it what you want. Make it both or either. But don’t forget to enjoy it. With chocolate.
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