Halloween Blogfest: Melissa Snark

Halloween

Do you love being scared? Halloween is the only celebration of the year geared to indulge our overwhelming adoration of fear and the adrenaline rush that goes with it. Halloween, also known as All Hollow’s Eve, is a Western celebration that falls on October 31st every year. Originally, it was a Western European tradition, the festival of the dead, but it has spread to countries throughout the world.

Today, the observation of Halloween involves a variety of scary-fun practices, including carving pumpkins, holiday house decorating and even greeting cards. Adults and children dress in costumes and attend parties. Parents take their children trick or treating. (Better fork over that candy or you might get tricked!) Schools hold fun carnivals with games. Ghost stories and frightening horror themes from art, literature and movies are associated with October.

Halloween has its roots in Samhain, a Gaelic festival traced to the ancient people who lived in Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man centuries prior to Christ’s birth. The celebration of Samhain began on October 31st at sunset and lasted until sunset on November 1st. It marked the end of the harvest season and the commencement of winter. Bonfires were lit and animals slaughtered for provisions against the coming cold. The door to the spiritual world opened and souls ventured forth so people dressed in disguises to hide from these spirits. In the late 19th century, Samhain became known as the Celtic New Year. It also has strong links with All Saint’s Day (AKA All Souls’ Day). Today, Samhain is celebrated by some pagan and Wiccan groups as a religious observance.

Do you know what to watch for in order to bring good luck or avoid back luck on Halloween?
• If a person sleeps facing south the night before Halloween, it brings good luck.
• Finding a piece of coal on the road and picking it up guarantees good fortune.
• Dreaming of or seeing a white cat on Halloween is unlucky.
• Opening an umbrella inside a home or building may bring Death to your door.
• Beware if you hear footsteps following you! It may be the Grim Reaper.

Why Jack-o’-lanterns?

Vegetable lanterns are most commonly carved from pumpkins but they can be made from turnips or beets. According to an old Irish folk story, Stingy Jack was a shrewd thief who managed to trap the Devil by pinning him against a cross. Eventually, Jack let the Devil go after he made a promise never to collect his soul. But the plan backfired. Jack died, only to discover heaven closed to him because of his many sins committed in life. Thanks to the Devil’s promise, hell wouldn’t have him either. The Devil put old Stingy Jack’s soul into an ember from the flames of hell and placed him into a turnip for the rest of eternity. The first Jack-o’-lantern…known for their properties of protecting homes from the undead.

Leave a comment and be entered to win a print copy of Hunger Moon!

Have a happy and safe Halloween!
Melissa Snark

MelissaSnark author photoAuthor Bio:

Melissa Snark is a paranormal and romance author with a particular interest in werewolf and Norse mythology. Her Loki’s Wolves series combines elements of both in a contemporary fantasy setting. She lives in Northern California with her husband, three children and glaring of cats.

Where to find Melissa on the Internet:

Website

The Snarkology

Email:  melissasnark at gmail dot com

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Twitter: @MelissaSnark

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Amazon Author Page

hunger moon_750 Victoria Storm faces seemingly insurmountable odds to keep her dwindling pack of werewolves alive and together. She fights hunters- including the brother and father of her deceased lover-and the pack takes another devastating loss. When they seek sanctuary in a small town near Lake Tahoe, high in the secluded Sierra Nevada Mountains, Victoria discovers they are infringing on the territory of a vastly more powerful Alpha wolf. To save her pack, she uses her feminine wiles to seduce the Alpha. Nothing comes easily for Victoria. Her plans are complicated by the Alpha’s erratic son, a ghostly wife, and a vengeful witch. Not even her status as a Valkyrie or the favor of the Goddess Freya can change the course of destiny for Victoria or her packmates.

ISBN-10: 1492107581
ISBN-13: 978-1492107583
Published April 25, 2013

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips. I could really use some good luck! Awesome post.

    Thanks so much for the chance to win!
    lisarayns at gmail dot com

  2. Interesting info

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  3. I love Halloween, but I hate being scared! I like the cozy parts of the holiday: dressing up for trick-or-treat, decorating pumpkins, and hanging cute ghosties in the trees.

    debrastjohn08@yahoo.com

  4. I absolutely love learning about the origins of holidays. This is a holiday I hadn’t really checked out before and since I’m fascinated by Celtic lore, I guess now I have to look further. Thanks for a fascinating post!
    Laura B
    wranglerlaura@yahoo.com

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