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Please Become our Friend on Facebook at www. Samhain ; from Irish samhain , cf. Scots Gaelic samhainn , Old Irish samain "summer's end", from sam "summer" and fuin "end" is a festival on the end of the harvest season in Gaelic and Brythonic cultures, with aspects of a festival of the dead. Many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic year. The term derives from the name of a month in the ancient Celtic calendar, in particular the first three nights of this month, with the festival marking the end of the summer season and the end of the harvest.

The Gaelic festival became associated with the Catholic All Souls' Day, and appears to have influenced the secular customs now connected with Halloween. Samhain is also the name of a festival in various currents of Neopaganism inspired by Gaelic tradition. The Irish word Samhain is derived from the Old Irish samain, samuin, or samfuin , all referring to November 1st latha na samna: Its meaning is glossed as 'summer's end', and the frequent spelling with f suggests analysis by popular etymology as sam 'summer' and fuin 'sunset', 'end'.

Whitley Stokes in KZ The Irish samain would be etymologically unrelated to 'summer', and derive from 'assembly'. But note that the name of the month is of Proto-Celtic age, cf. Old Irish gem-adaig 'winter's night'. This interpretation would either invalidate the 'assembly' explanation given above, or push back the time of the re-interpretation by popular etymology to very early times indeed. The Gaulish calendar appears to have divided the year into two halves: The entire year may have been considered as beginning with the 'dark' half, so that the beginning of Samonios may be considered the Celtic New Year's day.

The celebration of New Year itself may have taken place during the 'three nights of Samonios' Gaulish trinux[tion] samo[nii] , the beginning of the lunar cycle which fell nearest to the midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. The lunations marking the middle of each half-year may also have been marked by specific festivals.

The Coligny calendar marks the mid-summer moon see Lughnasadh , but omits the mid-winter one. The seasons are not oriented at the solar year, viz. It appears that the calendar was designed to align the lunations with the agricultural cycle of vegetation, and that the exact astronomical position of the Sun at that time was considered less important.

In medieval Ireland, Samhain became the principal festival, celebrated with a great assembly at the royal court in Tara, lasting for three days. After being ritually started on the Hill of Tlachtga, a bonfire was set alight on the Hill of Tara, which served as a beacon, signaling to people gathered atop hills all across Ireland to light their ritual bonfires. The custom has survived to some extent, and recent years have seen a resurgence in participation in the festival.

Samhain was identified in Celtic literature as the beginning of the Celtic year and its description as "Celtic New Year" was popularised in 18th century literature From this usage in the Romanticist Celtic Revival, Samhain is still popularly regarded as the "Celtic New Year" in the contemporary Celtic cultures, both in the Six Celtic Nations and the diaspora.

For instance, the contemporary calendars produced by the Celtic League begin and end at Samhain. It is important to remember that all of the written documents in places like Ireland and Wales date to a time after the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century.

Thus, while evidence such as folklore and ancient sagas may suggest certain associations with Samhain, these all are observed in a Christian context. There is absolutely no evidence as to whether and how this time might have been observed in any pre-Christian culture. The Samhain celebrations have survived in several guises as a festival dedicated to the harvest and the dead.

It represents the final harvest. It is still the custom in some areas to set a place for the dead at the Samhain feast, and to tell tales of the ancestors on that night.

Traditionally, Samhain was time to take stock of the herds and grain supplies, and decide which animals would need to be slaughtered in order for the people and livestock to survive the winter. This custom is still observed by many who farm and raise livestock because it is when meat will keep since the freeze has come and also since summer grass is gone and free foraging is no longer possible. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities celebrated down through the last several centuries, and up through the present day in some rural areas of the Celtic nations and the diaspora.

Villagers were said to have cast the bones of the slaughtered cattle upon the flames. In the pre-Christian Gaelic world, cattle were the primary unit of currency and the center of agricultural and pastoral life. Samhain was the traditional time for slaughter, for preparing stores of meat and grain to last through the coming winter. With the bonfire ablaze, the villagers extinguished all other fires.

Each family then solemnly lit its hearth from the common flame, thus bonding the families of the village together. Often two bonfires would be built side by side, and the people would walk between the fires as a ritual of purification. Sometimes the cattle and other livestock would be driven between the fires, as well. Divination is a common folkloric practice that has also survived in rural areas. The most common uses were to determine the identity of one's future spouse, the location of one's future home, and how many children a person might have.

Seasonal foods such as apples and nuts were often employed in these rituals. Apples were peeled, the peel tossed over the shoulder, and its shape examined to see if it formed the first letter of the future spouse's name. Nuts were roasted on the hearth and their movements interpreted - if the nuts stayed together, so would the couple. Egg whites were dropped in a glass of water, and the shapes foretold the number of future children.

Children would also chase crows and divine some of these things from how many birds appeared or the direction the birds flew. The Ulster Cycle is peppered with references to Samhain. Many of the adventures and campaigns undertaken by the characters therein begin at the Samhain Night feast. The prize is the king's own gold-hilted sword. The terms hold that a man must leave the warmth and safety of the hall and pass through the night to a gallows where two prisoners had been hanged the day before, tie a twig around one man's ankle, and return.

Others had been thwarted by the demons and spirits that harassed them as they attempted the task, quickly coming back to Ailill's hall in shame.

Taking etymology into consideration, it is interesting to note that the word for summer expressed in the Echtra Nerai is samraid. The other cycles feature Samhain as well. Through his ingenuity Fionn is able to stay awake and slays Aillen, and is given his rightful place as head of the fianna. In parts of western Brittany, Samhain is still heralded by the baking of kornigou, cakes baked in the shape of antlers to commemorate the god of winter shedding his 'cuckold' horns as he returns to his kingdom in the Otherworld.

The Romans identified Samhain with their own feast of the dead, the Lemuria. This, however, was observed in the days leading up to May 13th. Over time, the night of October 31st came to be called All Hallow's Eve, and the remnants festival dedicated to the dead eventually morphed into the secular holiday known as Halloween.

The Welsh equivalent of this holiday is called Nos Galan Gaeaf. As with Samhain, this marks the beginning of the dark half of the year and it officially begins at sunset on the 31st.

Traditionally, children dress as scary beings, carry turnips rather than pumpkins and sing an Anglicized version of Jinnie the Witch. They go from house to house asking for sweets or money. Samhain is observed by various Neopagans in various ways. As forms of Neopaganism can differ widely in both their origins and practices, these representations can vary considerably despite the shared name.

Some Neopagans have elaborate rituals to honor the dead, and the deities who are associated with the dead in their particular culture or tradition.

Some celebrate in a manner as close as possible to how the Ancient Celts and Living Celtic cultures have maintained the traditions, while others observe the holiday with rituals culled from numerous other unrelated sources, Celtic culture being only one of the sources used.

Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans tend to celebrate Samhain on the date of first frost, or when the last of the harvest is in and the ground is dry enough to have a bonfire. Like other Reconstructionist traditions, Celtic Reconstructionists place emphasis on historical accuracy, and base their celebrations and rituals on traditional lore from the living Celtic cultures, as well as research into the older beliefs of the polytheistic Celts. At bonfire rituals, some observe the old tradition of building two bonfires, which celebrants and livestock then walk or dance between as a ritual of purification.

According to Celtic lore, Samhain is a time when the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead become thinner, allowing spirits and other supernatural entities to pass between the worlds to socialize with humans. It is the time of the year when ancestors and other departed souls are especially honored. Though Celtic Reconstructionists make offerings to the spirits at all times of the year, Samhain in particular is a time when more elaborate offerings are made to specific ancestors.

Often a meal will be prepared of favorite foods of the family's and community's beloved dead, a place set for them at the table, and traditional songs, poetry and dances performed to entertain them. A door or window may be opened to the west and the beloved dead specifically invited to attend. Many leave a candle or other light burning in a western window to guide the dead home.

Divination for the coming year is often done, whether in all solemnity or as games for the children. The more mystically inclined may also see this as a time for deeply communing with the deities, especially those whom the lore mentions as being particularly connected with this festival.

Samhain is one of the eight annual festivals, often referred to as 'Sabbats', observed as part of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. It is considered by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four 'greater Sabbats'.

It is generally observed on October 31st in the Northern Hemisphere, starting at sundown. Samhain is considered by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died.

In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the spring festival of Beltane, which Wiccans celebrate as a festival of light and fertility.

It is largely a secular celebration, but some Christians and Pagans have expressed strong feelings about its religious overtones. Irish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America during Ireland's Great Famine of The day is often associated with the colors orange and black, and is strongly associated with symbols such as the jack-o'-lantern.

Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, ghost tours, bonfires, costume parties, visiting haunted attractions, carving jack-o'-lanterns, reading scary stories, and watching horror movies. Halloween has origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain; from the Old Irish samain, possibly derived from Gaulish samonios. The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year".

Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient Celtic Pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Celts believed that on October 31st, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the living and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops.

The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to copy the evil spirits or placate them. In the 9th century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Originating in Europe, these lanterns were first carved from a turnip or rutabaga. Believing that the head was the most powerful part of the body, containing the spirit and the knowledge, the Celts used the "head" of the vegetable to frighten off any superstitions.

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I read somewhere although I cannot find it right now that some of the large companies outside of the US, are now only accepting old dollars, and not the newly created out of thin air ones apparently they can tell the difference by the serial numbers on the notes. In truth, for the people who are struggling, I cannot see exactly what one can do to solve their short term problems, perhaps in the end, only God through prayer can help us. What does everybody think, what can we do about this destructive attack on the US dollar and control via money in general?

Yet, even if we do not have the right to voice our opinions in an effective manner, we are still controlled by this currency. Even if it is by proxy, or even directly as I am when one sells things online for example. How about that for democracy? I think this is also one of the precedents that may be used for convincing everyone that a new world currency is needed.

With all the info on the crash of the dollar, what do you recommend that a person do with reserve dollars? While David, Sandra, and Kathy are tragically turning comedy into tragedy, they are also helping to speed up and fulfill the Final Holocaust a la Zechariah and Malachi, thus helping to make the Bible even more believable!

For even more stunning information, visit MSN, Google etc. I mean, this is big news. Yet no one talks about it. No Congressional investigations are held. It is evidence if any more were needed of enormous evil and corruption in Washington D. I am a victim of the Jewish mob and the secret spy network that has millions of members all over the world. The mob has blocked me since my graduation from law school from getting a law job in my home state.

I moved out of state in in fear for my life, and they had someone file false ethics ansd insanity charges against me so I could not get a job as a lawyer in another state. These people are so evil it is hard to believe. They bugged my phone , and now my car is bugged, and I have tried to have it removed, to no avail. The bankers are spinning this to sound like a good thing. They are saying this because they screwed up.

They are saying that if the dollar drops then Americans goods will be the only thing Americans can buy. The only problem is that Americans only buy Chinese goods. The problem is that the Zionist Rothschild bankers are full of hubris. They are going down in a big way. Grab our guns and start shooting? I pray at night and whenever I think about it, that our wonderful God is watching over us and that He will come to our defense in some way to save us from the rejects who want to ruin everything.

I do try to pray for these evil people—that they turn back towards the light, but if they choose not to, then I pray for their destruction. I refuse to be kind to people who want to harm, murder, steal and do whatever else to me and my family. Are people even aware that this meeting took place there?

Why do I get the feeling that you are posting here to make all of us seem like a bunch of tinfoil-hat wearers? What danger are you to them? The place where it was held was blocked to citizens on a radius of kilometers wide and none was allowed to cross the line, which was completely illegal.

But the media here, were unable to completely hide the fact that it was taking place as the were several demonstrations and mentions of this all over TV and the newspapers and many politicians who have not sold out completely yet, did question the event.

In fact, the last government here 2 terms ago, was led by prime minister Simitis, whose name means semite who is a kind of crypto-jew at least as far as the media goes. Unfortunately the vast majority are ignorant, very much like most other countries.

Simitis, also singed Greece without any referendum into the European Union and sold out the Greek Drachma, which was our currency up to that point. While the Drachma was a weak currency, it was still largely in control mostly by Greeks probably at least a percentage of them corrupted but still it was one more level away from complete Zionist control.

Now, with the euro, nobody can even find out who and how controls it. Unfortunately, the practices you see in the US with the Fed and in the advanced countries are applied to many more countries than just them.

The worst of all is that all media here are conspiring to help the current opposition which is the Socialist party, right now the government is Conservative to win the next elections.

This opposition will return to power undoubtedly and is the same party that Simitis led about 8 years ago. People who know, expect attempts to introduce even more degeneration when that government comes into power.

Anybody who is Greek and reading this site here, make sure you do NOT vote for Papandreou and his party, he is Jewish and will sell what is left of our country and values. The New Democracy party that is in power now, is not free of some Zionist control but it is not as much controlled by them and as such, will only be simply useless in governing the country, as opposed to the pure evil that the socialist government will be.

It is also about preserving and reverting back to our European-based Christian values. There is a difference though, to other countries I have visited. Unlike other countries, Greece still has a very large number of Church goers, who from time to time demonstrate in the millions in front of the parliament, as happened recently when the government tried to introduce ID card changes. So, even if the socialist party wins the elections, they will still face formidable opposition from the very large number of practicing Orthodox people here in Greece.

Orthodoxy is very much nationally attached into Greekness and so it will be very hard to separate the two, even if the majority is Orthodox by name and not in practice. Someone who is not Jewish and lives in a Jewish neighbourhood where I live, recently told me that Jews do not charge each other interest.

Directs the Treasury Department to issue U. These two relatively simple steps, which Congress has the power to enact, would extinguish the national debt, without inflation or deflation, and end the unjust practice of private banks creating money as loans i.

This Act would stabilize the economy and end the boom-bust economic cycles caused by fractional reserve banking. Michael K might remember. Only 9 percent of respondents opposed an audit, a further indication of overwhelming support for Fed transparency. Campaign for Liberty http: The groups has generated hundreds of thousands of petitions and phone calls to lawmakers, distributed massive amounts of educational material and canvassed countless neighborhoods across the country.

Of course that would warrant the 30, pound bunker-buster. Destroying the dollar poses other problems. But we need to be aware that OIL has been the intended reserve currency. Come on Administrations, start to tell the truth to the people. We are ready to go back to work, but also to clear the criminals out of their power chairs. The fever to keep USD in power as the R. This whole thing about warming, has caused more inflation and unnecessary borrowing against the Fed, which keeps weakening the dollar too.

The universe is electrical… activity outside our atmosphere is causing the changes. Ron Paul wants to see all the places the Fed sent the money over seas!

Not just a run of the mill audit. Peace, not anytime soon, unfortunately. Ever see what the Death Star looked like in Star Wars after it was destroyed? No body will want anything from the US, let alone our paper fiat money, if we let the moon get wrecked! Sorry for the long post, I really hope it is relevant to this article.

I tried to stay at least on the general topic of Zionism. Almost everybody here is Baptized Orthodox and almost everybody goes to church at least times a year. This kind of demographics is different to other western countries, where one is essentially either a church-goer, which means that they worship almost every Sunday at least, or a secular person with no interests in religion at all.

In Greece a large number of people will confess to be Orthodox, and perhaps in theirs hearts they are, but are only very mildly practicing and thus, they obviously forget and become ignorant of the faith. It is funny, because the only people who I can only compare Greeks to, is actually the Jewish people. I say this, because just like the Jewish, Greeks are completely saturated and born into a heavily religious context. Our daily lives are affected by this, even to things like what we eat, for example, many Greeks who do not go to church, will still do the fasts, even if they are only forced to do so by their parents.

There are many other examples of this. Also, a Greek, is almost never considered to by anything else than an Orthodox, and as such, many, many Greeks, will just take Orthodoxy as cultural baggage with them in life, rather than an educated choice or a personal experience with Christ.

From the Jews that I have met personally, I can see the same kind of deep mix of religion and nationality and tradition. However, one may be quick to think that it is not that good to have that many only lukewarm believers. My personal view is that even this, is better than pure secularism and atheism. Secularism and Atheism brings out the animal or worse in people, and is what Zionists want to see happening in us, because this is what they see us as.

Many lukewarm Greek believers, acquire a steady increase in faith as they grow more mature and have not forgotten the traditions, practices and sermons and things they have experienced in their limited access to the church. As such, many Greeks, know Who to turn to in times of despair and also many of them become pious later on in life. This is, of course, Jesus Christ and his Church! Christians are the salt of the earth, and in Greece we have many Christians, and thus, this is heavily seen in all walks of life in Greece.

Henry Kissinger, has many times mentioned that Greeks must be destroyed, and the way to do this in his words, is by destroying their language and their religion. Zionists fiercely hate what Greece represents, and would love to see her complete destruction. However, even today, Greece is blessed, as it is filled with Holy people and saints to be, and anyone inclined to be close to God, can do so easily here, with no distractions and for anyone looking for it, there are multitudes of spiritual havens in the various parishes and monasteries to be found.

On a different matter, I personally discuss the Jewish and New World Order in general with anyone that comes near my vicinity and and is willing to listen….

Generally speaking in Greece, a very large number of the population knows about the Jews; and especially if you grow up in the Church I mean in a practicing family , it is simply impossible in Greece that you will not know about what the Jews are all about.

Even in many essentially secular or lukewarm believers homes there is awareness of what the Jews are about. There are even TV programs in lesser stations usually and mentions in newspapers from time to time, that address the Zionist agenda.

I personally, for example, was fully aware of the Zionists since I was about 8 years old, just old enough to be able to read a lot, simply because of the high availability of this information.

So how can even this country be to a point be controlled by Zionists? And thus, people are distracted and made to think that political parties are the main cause of troubles in society and not a hidden groups of people, led by Zionists. There is however one other reason why only rarely effective resistance is done about all of this.

There is a general idea, which is the concept of Freedom. Many Orthodox, especially some Monks and other people, will say things like: But this is heavily dependent on how close we Christians are to God, so that we may attain His blessings. I personally tend to agree with this latest view, in that in the current status of the world, prayer and being close to God via the Church, is probably the most important thing we can possibly do; and only once this has been established one should take other actions to combat the Zionist agenda.

If one reads about the Talmud and the practices of Zionists and Masons etc. No need to go into detail here. How does one combat and get protection against sorcery and magic executed behind closed doors?

The answer is stay close and within God via the sacraments and practices of the Church and of course prayer. Only then will you be armored well enough to such attacks.

THE last act in the fearful drama of the extermination of Christianity in the Byzantine Empire was the burning of Smyrna by the troops of Mustapha Khemal. The murder of the Armenian race had been practically consummated during the years , and the prosperous and populous Greek colonies, with the exception of Smyrna itself, had been ferociously destroyed.

The idea has been widely circulated, and seems to be gaining credence, that the Turk has changed his nature overnight. The destruction of Smyrna happened, however, in , and no act ever perpetrated by the Turkish race in all its bloodstained history, has been characterized by more brutal and lustful features, nor more productive of the worst forms of human sufferings inflicted on the defenseless and unarmed.

It was a fittingly lurid and Satanic finale to the whole dreadful tragedy. All statements that tend to throw doubt on the matter can be traced to suspicious and interested sources.

Men of this stamp do not make assertions without having first gone carefully into the evidence. We have already seen by what methods the Greeks had been eliminated from the coastal region of Asia Minor. The murders and deportations have been described by which a flourishing and rapidly growing civilization had been destroyed, villages and farmhouses wrecked and vineyards uprooted.

Large numbers of Greeks, however, who had managed to escape by sea, returned to their ruined homes after the landing of the Hellenic army in May of , and set to work industriously to restore their ruined properties. Mustapha Khemal now determined to make a complete and irretrievable ruin of Christianity in Asia Minor. The plan, revealed by its execution, was to give the city up for some days to lust and carnage; to butcher the Armenians, a task which has always given a special pleasure to the Turk; to burn the town and to carry the Greek men away into captivity.

The streets leading into the Armenian quarter were guarded by Turkish soldier sentinels and no one was permitted to enter while the massacre was going on. Armed Turks, including many soldiers, entered the quarter thus guarded and went through it looting, massacring and destroying.

They planted small bombs under the paving stones in various places in the European part of the city to explode and act as a supplementary agent in the work of destruction caused by the burning petroleum which Turkish soldiers sprinkled about the streets. The petroleum spread the fire and led it through the European quarter and the bombs shook down the tottering walls. They set fire to the Armenian quarter on the thirteenth of September The last Greek soldiers bad passed through Smyrna on the evening of the eighth, that is to say, the Turks had been in full, complete and undisputed possession of the city for five days before the fire broke out and for much of this time they had kept the Armenian quarter cut off by military control while conducting a systematic and thorough massacre.

If any Armenians were still living in the localities at the time the fires were lighted they were hiding in cellars too terrified to move, for the whole town was overrun by Turkish soldiers, especially the places where the fires were started.

In general, all the Christians of the city were keeping to their houses in a state of extreme and justifiable terror for themselves and their families, for the Turks had been in possession of the city for five days, during which time they had been looting, raping and killing. It was the burning of the houses of the Christians, which drove them into the streets and caused the fearful scenes of suffering which will be described later.

Of this state of affairs, I was an eye-witness. The fire was lighted at the edge of the Armenian quarter at a time when a strong wind was blowing toward the Christian section and away from the Turkish. The Turkish quarter was not in any way involved in the catastrophe and during all the abominable scenes that followed and all the indescribable sufferings of the Christians, the Mohammedan quarter was lighted up and gay with dancing, singing and joyous celebration.

Turkish soldiers led the fire down into the well-built modern Greek and European section of Smyrna by soaking the narrow streets with petroleum or other highly inflammable matter. They poured petroleum in front of the American Consulate with no other possible purpose than to communicate the fire to that building at a time when C.

Davis went out and put his hands in the mud thus created and it smelled like petroleum and gasoline mixed. The soldiers seen by Mr. Davis and the others had started from the quay and were proceeding toward the fire.

Alexander Maclachlan, President of the American College, and a sergeant of American Marines were stripped, the one of his clothes and the other of a portion of his uniform, and beaten with clubs by Turkish soldiers. A squad of American Marines was fired on. These rumors were not believed at first, but they grew more and more insistent, throwing the population into an agony of fear. At last the report became a certainty. The official news was received that the Greek army had suffered a terrible and irretrievable defeat and that nothing now prevented the Turks from descending to the coast.

The population began to leave, a few at first, then more and more until the flight developed into a veritable panic. The town was fast filling with refugees from the interior. The majority of these refugees were small farmers who had lived on properties that had descended from father to son for many generations. Their forebears had settled in Asia Minor before the Turks had begun to develop into a nation.

They were children of the soil, able to live and care for themselves in their little houses and on their few acres, each family with its cow, its donkey and its goat. They were even producing tobacco, figs, seedless raisins and other products for export. They were expert in the cultivation and manipulation of the better qualities of cigarette tobacco and the priceless raisins, of which latter Asia Minor produces the best quality in the world. This valuable farmer element, the very backbone of the prosperity of Asia Minor, had again been reduced to beggary and thrown upon American charity.

They were arriving by thousands in Smyrna and all along the seacoast. They were filling all the churches, schools and the yards of the Y. They were sleeping in the streets. Many were getting away during those first days on steamers and sailing craft. The caiques in the harbor, loaded with refugees and their effects, were a picturesque sight. For the man whose heart has not suffered atrophy as a result of the Great War, the spectacle of great numbers of helpless little children was particularly moving.

Unfortunately, atrophy of the human heart has been one of the most noticeable phenomena of the great Armageddon. Doctor Esther Lovejoy, of New York, already referred to, used an expression with regard to certain Americans, who were present during the scenes of suffering and outrage. The refugees carried with them as much of their belongings as their strength permitted and one often saw a little child sitting on top of a great bundle of bedding, the whole supported on the shoulders of some man or woman stumbling along.

In normal times the sick are not seen, as they are in the houses lying in bed for the most part. In ease of a great fire or panic one is surprised at the number of sick or disabled thus brought to light. Many of the refugees were carrying sick upon their shoulders. I remember especially one old gray-haired woman stumbling through the streets of Smyrna with an emaciated feverish son astride her neck.

He was taller than the mother, his legs almost touching the ground. Then the defeated, dusty, ragged Greek soldiers began to arrive, looking straight ahead, like men walking in their sleep. Great numbers—the more fortunate—were sitting on ancient Assyrian carts, descendants of the very primitive vehicles used in the time of Nebuchadnezzar. In a never-ending stream they poured through the town toward the point on the coast to which the Greek fleet had withdrawn.

Silently as ghosts they went, looking neither to the right nor the left. From time to time some soldier, his strength entirely spent, collapsed on the sidewalk or by a door. It was said that many of these were taken into houses and given civilian clothes and that thus some escaped.

It was credibly reported that others whose strength failed them before they got into the city were found a few hours later with their throats cut. And now at last we heard that the Turks were moving on the town.

There had been predictions that Greek troops, on entering Smyrna, would burn it, but their conduct soon dispelled all such apprehensions. In fact the American, with the British, French and Italian delegates had called upon General Hadjianesti, the Greek commander-in-chief, to ask him what measures he could take to prevent acts of violence on the part of the disorganized Greek forces.

He talked of a well-disciplined regiment from Thrace, which he was expecting and which he promised to throw out as a screen to prevent straggling bands from entering the city and even of organizing a new resistance to the Turks, but could give the delegates no definite assurance. He was tall and thin, straight as a ramrod, extremely well-groomed, with a pointed gray beard and the general air of an aristocrat.

He was a handsome man, with the reputation of a lady-killer. That was the last time I saw him, but when I read later of his standing before a firing squad in Athens, I still retained a vivid mental picture of that last interview in the military headquarters in Smyrna. If it was he who was responsible for sending away the flower of his troops to threaten Constantinople at a time when they were most needed in Asia Minor, he deserved severe punishment or confinement in a lunatic asylum.

He had the general reputation of being megalomaniac, with not too great ability. Certainly none but a fool would have accepted the Smyrna post at that time for the sake of glory.

What was needed was a man of energy with a clear understanding of the situation who would have taken hurried and wise measures to save as much as possible of the wreckage. But Hadjianesti was busy furnishing in gorgeous style and repairing a palace on the quay, which he had requisitioned for a residence. He deserved to be pitied, for it is probable that he was not well-balanced mentally. It was definitely asserted that the Turkish cavalry would enter the town on the morning of September 9, The Greek general staff and the high-commissioner with the entire civil administration, were preparing to leave.

The Greek gendarmes were still patrolling the streets and keeping order. These men had gained the confidence of every one in Smyrna and the entire occupied region by their general efficiency and good conduct.

Whatever accusations may be substantiated against the Greek soldiers, nothing but praise can be said of the Greek gendarmes. All my former colleagues at Smyrna and all residents of the district will bear me out in this statement.

There would be an interval between the evacuation of Smyrna and the arrival of the Turkish forces when the town would be without a government of any kind.

Some of the representatives of foreign governments went to the high-commissioner and asked him to leave the gendarmes until the Turks had taken over, under assurance from the latter that they would be alowed to depart without molestation.

The high-commissioner did not grant this request. I did not join in it. The Greek officials all left. Sterghiades had but a few steps to go from his house to the sea where a ship was awaiting him, but he was hooted by the population. He had done his best to make good in an impossible situation. He had tried by every means in his power to make friends of the implacable Turks, and he had punished severely, sometimes with death, Greeks guilty of crimes against Turks.

He founded a university at Smyrna, bringing from Germany a Greek professor with an international reputation to act as president. One of the last Greeks I saw on the streets of Smyrna before the entry of the Turks, was Professor Karatheodoris, president of the doomed university.

With him departed the incarnation of Greek genius of culture and civilization in the Orient. The Hellenic forces left, civil and military, and the interregnum of a city without a government began.

Mohammedans and Christians were quiet, waiting with a great anxiety. The supreme question was: How would the Turks behave? I had no anxiety for the native-born Americans, but was very uneasy about the two hundred or more naturalized citizens, many of them former Ottoman subjects.

I, therefore, did not take the responsibility of assuring the native population, Greeks and Armenians, that they would be perfectly safe, neither did I say anything that might tend to create panic.

Many ladies, American and others, left at this time. I counseled my wife to go, but she refused, thinking that her staying might give comfort to those who remained. I decided to select a place of rendezvous for the American citizens and to notify all of them to keep in the neighborhood of this place as much as possible and, in case of serious disorders and general danger, to take refuge there. I picked out the American theater, a large and suitable building on the quay, for the purpose and called the leading members of the American colony, native and naturalized, to a meeting in my office and advised them of the measures taken, to be applied in case of need.

When I told them that the meeting was dismissed, Mr. Lane, now a merchant of Smyrna, but formerly American consul there, arose and said: The refugees that are pouring by thousands and thousands into the city are dying of starvation and nobody to help them.

I had hoped that this meeting had been called together to take measures to succor these poor people. A Provisional Relief Committee was organized on the spot and a sufficient sum of money contributed to begin operations.

All the leading American firms offered their lorries and automobiles and their personal services. Bakers were hired and set to work, stocks of flour found and purchased, and in a few hours this organization was feeding the helpless and bewildered refugees who were crowding into the city.

But for the American colony in Smyrna thousands would have died of starvation before the Relief Unit could arrive from Constantinople. In the meantime I was insistently telegraphing for American men-of-war to come to Smyrna. If there was ever a time when a situation demanded the presence of naval units, this, I thought, was that occasion. Though our colony was not great, our business interests and property holdings were very considerable indeed, to say nothing of our large schools with their staffs of teachers and professors.

The navy in those waters was under the control of that very fine officer and gentleman, Admiral Mark L. I had reason to think that the admiral had perfect confidence in the good intentions and administrative abilities of the Turks and believed that the latter would bring a kind and benevolent administration to Smyrna. In response to telegraphic insistence with the State Department a wire was received to the effect that destroyers would be sent to Smyrna, as cruisers were not available, for the protection of American lives and property.

Two small destroyers were accordingly sent. Naval units of Great Britain, Italy, France and the United States were present at Smyrna, and anchored but a few hundred yards or nearer from the houses on the quay during the appalling, shameful and heartrending scenes which followed.

Stepping to the door of my office, I found that a crowd of refugees, mostly women, were rushing in terror upon the Consulate and trying to seek refuge within, and that they were very properly being kept out by the two or three bluejackets assigned for the defense of the consular property.

One glance from the terrace which overlooked the quay made evident the cause of their terror. The Turkish cavalry were filing along the quay, on their way to their barracks at the Konak at the other end of the city. They were sturdy-looking fellows passing by in perfect order.

They appeared to be well-fed and fresh. Many of them were of that Mongolian type which one sees among the Mohammedans of Asia Minor. Any one who saw those mounted troops passing along the quay of Smyrna would testify, if he knew anything at all of military matters, that they were not only soldiers, but very good soldiers indeed, thoroughly trained and under perfect control of admirable officers.

And any one who knows anything of Turkish character will testify that the Turk is essentially a soldier, extraordinarily amenable to the orders of his superiors. The Turk massacres when he has orders from headquarters and desists on the second when commanded by the same authority to stop. As the Turkish cavalry was entering Smyrna on the morning of the ninth, some fool threw a bomb. The Turkish officer commanding the cavalry division received bloody cuts about the head.

All the testimony is to the effect that he rode unconcernedly on. That is what a Turk would do, for of the courage of the race there is no doubt. It has been stated that this bomb was thrown by an Armenian, but I have seen no proof of the assertion, nor can the statement that the throwing of this bomb precipitated the massacre of the Armenians, be reconciled with the Turkish claim that their troops were so exasperated with the atrocities of the Greek army that they could not be restrained when reaching Smyrna.

Armenians are not Greeks, and the fury of the Turks burst first upon their usual victims. On the evening of the ninth, the looting and killing began. Shooting was heard in various parts of the town all night, and the following morning native-born Americans, both men and women, began to report seeing corpses lying about in the streets in the interior of the town.

Nureddin Pasha, the Turkish commander-in-chief, issued a command that everybody was to go peacefully about his business and that order should be preserved.

This caused a momentary feeling of security among a certain element of the non-Mussulman population, so that a number of shops that had been closed were reopened. But this confidence was not of long duration, for the looting spread and the savagery increased.

At first, civilian Turks, natives of the town, were the chief offenders. I myself saw such civilians armed with shotguns watching the windows of Christian houses ready to shoot at any head that might appear. These had the air of hunters crouching and stalking their prey. But the thing that made an unforgettable impression was the expression on their faces.

It was that of an ecstasy of hate and savagery. There was in it, too, a religious exaltation, but it was not beautiful, it was the religion of the Powers of Darkness. One saw, too, all the futility of missionary work and efforts of conversion. Here was complete conviction, the absolute triumph of error and the doctrine of murder and pitilessness. There was something infinitely sad in those pale writhing faces on which seemed to shine the wan light of hell. One could not help pitying those men even while they were killing.

One thought of lost souls and the torments of the damned. Those killers were unhappy. The last Greek soldiers disappeared from Smyrna on the evening of the eighth and the Turks rapidly took over the town.

Mounted patrols and little squads of soldiers began to appear on the streets, serving as police. These were well enough behaved. There were credibly reported instances of minor Turkish officers interfering with the looters and evil-doers, and even of instances of kindness being shown to non-Mussulman natives. I saw no such kindness, however. If I had, I should be eager to report it, but I am willing to accept the testimony of others.

The panic among the native Christians was now increasing to an alarming extent. As the looting spread and the killing increased the American institutions were filled with frightened people. These institutions in Smyrna were the Intercollegiate Institute, a seminary for young girls; the Y. There was not one who showed the least indication of fear or nervousness under the most trying circumstances; not one who flinched or wobbled for an instant throughout a situation which had scarcely a parallel in the history of the world for hideousness and danger.

They endured fatigue almost beyond human endurance, that they might do all in their power to save their charges and give comfort and courage to the frightened hunted creatures who had thrown themselves on their protection.

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Then one also have to believe that you have some great mastermind, but you eventually see there is a great level of incompetence as well. His actions are not only stupid but subversive. I never thought I'd see the day when one of our own presidents would deliberately try to hurt our country.

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As you say thankfully we are different or else it would be so boring looking at the same style again and again hugs Karen x. Cashmere beanies sound good, though. One of my problems with beanies is that I always find them too itchy. I really felt like everything here could be applied to so much more than a large quilt market.

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I love this case. It is light enough to throw in my purse, but protects my IPad. I had an ottebox for my iPad 1. I thought I needed all the protection. Since I carried my iPad everywhere, I noticed it was very heavy. Nuts were roasted on the hearth and their movements interpreted - if the nuts stayed together, so would the couple. Egg whites were dropped in a glass of water, and the shapes foretold the number of future children. Children would also chase crows and divine some of these things from how many birds appeared or the direction the birds flew.

The Ulster Cycle is peppered with references to Samhain. Many of the adventures and campaigns undertaken by the characters therein begin at the Samhain Night feast. The prize is the king's own gold-hilted sword. The terms hold that a man must leave the warmth and safety of the hall and pass through the night to a gallows where two prisoners had been hanged the day before, tie a twig around one man's ankle, and return.

Others had been thwarted by the demons and spirits that harassed them as they attempted the task, quickly coming back to Ailill's hall in shame. Taking etymology into consideration, it is interesting to note that the word for summer expressed in the Echtra Nerai is samraid. The other cycles feature Samhain as well. Through his ingenuity Fionn is able to stay awake and slays Aillen, and is given his rightful place as head of the fianna.

In parts of western Brittany, Samhain is still heralded by the baking of kornigou, cakes baked in the shape of antlers to commemorate the god of winter shedding his 'cuckold' horns as he returns to his kingdom in the Otherworld.

The Romans identified Samhain with their own feast of the dead, the Lemuria. This, however, was observed in the days leading up to May 13th. Over time, the night of October 31st came to be called All Hallow's Eve, and the remnants festival dedicated to the dead eventually morphed into the secular holiday known as Halloween.

The Welsh equivalent of this holiday is called Nos Galan Gaeaf. As with Samhain, this marks the beginning of the dark half of the year and it officially begins at sunset on the 31st. Traditionally, children dress as scary beings, carry turnips rather than pumpkins and sing an Anglicized version of Jinnie the Witch. They go from house to house asking for sweets or money. Samhain is observed by various Neopagans in various ways. As forms of Neopaganism can differ widely in both their origins and practices, these representations can vary considerably despite the shared name.

Some Neopagans have elaborate rituals to honor the dead, and the deities who are associated with the dead in their particular culture or tradition. Some celebrate in a manner as close as possible to how the Ancient Celts and Living Celtic cultures have maintained the traditions, while others observe the holiday with rituals culled from numerous other unrelated sources, Celtic culture being only one of the sources used.

Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans tend to celebrate Samhain on the date of first frost, or when the last of the harvest is in and the ground is dry enough to have a bonfire. Like other Reconstructionist traditions, Celtic Reconstructionists place emphasis on historical accuracy, and base their celebrations and rituals on traditional lore from the living Celtic cultures, as well as research into the older beliefs of the polytheistic Celts.

At bonfire rituals, some observe the old tradition of building two bonfires, which celebrants and livestock then walk or dance between as a ritual of purification. According to Celtic lore, Samhain is a time when the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead become thinner, allowing spirits and other supernatural entities to pass between the worlds to socialize with humans.

It is the time of the year when ancestors and other departed souls are especially honored. Though Celtic Reconstructionists make offerings to the spirits at all times of the year, Samhain in particular is a time when more elaborate offerings are made to specific ancestors. Often a meal will be prepared of favorite foods of the family's and community's beloved dead, a place set for them at the table, and traditional songs, poetry and dances performed to entertain them.

A door or window may be opened to the west and the beloved dead specifically invited to attend. Many leave a candle or other light burning in a western window to guide the dead home. Divination for the coming year is often done, whether in all solemnity or as games for the children.

The more mystically inclined may also see this as a time for deeply communing with the deities, especially those whom the lore mentions as being particularly connected with this festival. Samhain is one of the eight annual festivals, often referred to as 'Sabbats', observed as part of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year.

It is considered by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four 'greater Sabbats'. It is generally observed on October 31st in the Northern Hemisphere, starting at sundown. Samhain is considered by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died.

In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the spring festival of Beltane, which Wiccans celebrate as a festival of light and fertility.

It is largely a secular celebration, but some Christians and Pagans have expressed strong feelings about its religious overtones. Irish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America during Ireland's Great Famine of The day is often associated with the colors orange and black, and is strongly associated with symbols such as the jack-o'-lantern.

Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, ghost tours, bonfires, costume parties, visiting haunted attractions, carving jack-o'-lanterns, reading scary stories, and watching horror movies.

Halloween has origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain; from the Old Irish samain, possibly derived from Gaulish samonios. The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year". Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient Celtic Pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores.

The ancient Celts believed that on October 31st, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the living and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops.

The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to copy the evil spirits or placate them. In the 9th century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar.

Originating in Europe, these lanterns were first carved from a turnip or rutabaga. Believing that the head was the most powerful part of the body, containing the spirit and the knowledge, the Celts used the "head" of the vegetable to frighten off any superstitions. Welsh, Irish and British myth are full of legends of the Brazen Head, which may be a folk memory of the widespread ancient Celtic practice of headhunting - the results of which were often nailed to a door lintel or brought to the fireside to speak their wisdom.

The name jack-o'-lantern can be traced back to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a greedy, gambling, hard-drinking old farmer. He tricked the devil into climbing a tree and trapped him by carving a cross into the tree trunk. In revenge, the devil placed a curse on Jack, condemning him to forever wander the earth at night with the only light he had: The carving of pumpkins is associated with Halloween in North America, where pumpkins were not only readily available but much larger, making them easier to carve than turnips.

Many families that celebrate Halloween carve a pumpkin into a frightening or comical face and place it on their doorstep after dark.

In America, the tradition of carving pumpkins is known to have preceded the Great Famine period of Irish immigration. The carved pumpkin was originally associated with harvest time in general, in America and did not become specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century. The imagery surrounding Halloween is largely an amalgamation of the Halloween season itself, works of Gothic and horror literature, in particular novels Frankenstein and Dracula, and nearly a century of work from American filmmakers and graphic artists, and a rather commercialized take on the dark and mysterious.

Halloween imagery tends to involve death, evil, the occult, magic, or mythical monsters. Traditional characters include the Devil, the Grim Reaper, ghosts, ghouls, demons, witches, pumpkin-men, goblins, vampires, werewolves, zombies, mummies, skeletons, black cats, spiders, bats, owls, crows, and vultures.

Particularly in America, symbolism is inspired by classic horror films which contain fictional figures like Frankenstein's monster and The Mummy. Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent.

Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween. The two main colors associated with Halloween are orange and black. Halloween costumes are traditionally those of monsters such as ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils.

Costumes are also based on themes other than traditional horror, such as those of characters from television shows, movies, and other pop culture icons. Started as a local event in a Philadelphia suburb in and expanded nationally in , the program involves the distribution of small boxes by schools or in modern times, corporate sponsors like Hallmark, at their licensed stores to trick-or-treaters, in which they can solicit small-change donations from the houses they visit.

There are several games traditionally associated with Halloween parties. One common game is dunking or apple bobbing, in which apples float in a tub or a large basin of water the participants must use their teeth to remove an apple from the basin to make things even more challenging, try removing the stems from the apples. A variant of dunking involves kneeling on a chair, holding a fork between the teeth and trying to drop the fork into an apple.

Another common game involves hanging up treacle or syrup-coated scones by strings; these must be eaten without using hands while they remain attached to the string, an activity that inevitably leads to a very sticky face. Kids can play a "kill the witch game" by drawing and coloring a witch on a large piece of paper, cutting out circles from black construction paper and sticking tape on the back to make the witch's warts.

Then blindfold the players, spin them around three times and have 'em pin ugly warts on the witch! The player who sticks the wart closest to the nose wins. Some games traditionally played at Halloween are forms of divination. The saucers are shuffled, and the seated person then chooses one by touch; the contents of the saucer determine the person's life during the following year.

In 19th-century Ireland, young women placed slugs in saucers sprinkled with flour. A traditional Irish and Scottish form of divining one's future spouse is to carve an apple in one long strip, then toss the peel over one's shoulder. The peel is believed to land in the shape of the first letter of the future spouse's name. This custom has survived among Irish and Scottish immigrants in the rural United States. Unmarried women were frequently told that if they sat in a darkened room and gazed into a mirror on Halloween night, the face of their future husband would appear in the mirror.

However, if they were destined to die before marriage, a skull would appear. The custom was widespread enough to be commemorated on greeting cards from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The telling of ghost stories and viewing of horror films are common fixtures of Halloween parties. Episodes of TV series and specials with Halloween themes with the specials usually aimed at children are commonly aired on or before the holiday, while new horror films, are often released theatrically before the holiday to take advantage of the atmosphere.

Haunted attractions are entertainment venues designed to thrill and scare patrons; most are seasonal Halloween businesses. Origins of these paid scare venues are difficult to pinpoint, but it is generally accepted that they were first commonly used by the Junior Chamber International Jaycees for fundraising. They include haunted houses, corn mazes, and hayrides and the level of sophistication of the effects has risen as the industry has grown.

This increase in interest has led to more highly technical special effects and costuming that is comparable with that in Hollywood films. Because the holiday comes in the wake of the annual apple harvest, candy apples also known as toffee, caramel or taffy apples are a common Halloween treat made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, sometimes followed by rolling them in nuts.

At one time, candy apples were commonly given to children, but the practice rapidly waned in the wake of widespread rumors that some individuals were embedding items like pins and razor blades in the apples. While there is evidence of such incidents, they are quite rare and have never resulted in serious injury. Nonetheless, many parents assumed that such heinous practices were rampant. At the peak of the hysteria, some hospitals offered free x-rays of children's Halloween hauls in order to find evidence of tampering.

Virtually all of the few known candy poisoning incidents involved parents who poisoned their own children's candy, and there have been occasional reports of children putting needles in their own and other children's candy in need of a bit of attention. It is said that those who get a ring will find their true love in the ensuing year. This is similar to the tradition of king cake at the festival of Epiphany. Other foods associated with the holiday:. Halloween is not celebrated in all countries and regions of the world, and among those that do the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly.

Celebration in the United States has had a significant impact on how the holiday is observed in other nations. The history of Halloween traditions in a given country also lends context to how it is presently celebrated. In North America, Christian attitudes towards Halloween are quite diverse.

Celtic Christians may have Samhain services that focus on the cultural aspects of the holiday, in the belief that many ancient Celtic customs are "incompatible with the new Christian religion.

Christianity embraced the Celtic notions of family, community, the bond among all people, and respect for the dead. Throughout the centuries, Pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry hodgepodge of celebrations from October 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery.

Many Christians ascribe no negative significance to Halloween, treating it as a purely secular holiday devoted to celebrating "imaginary spooks" and handing out candy. Halloween celebrations are common among Roman Catholic parochial schools throughout North America and in Ireland. Father Gabriele Amorth, a Vatican-appointed exorcist in Rome, has said, "If English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem.

If it is just a game, there is no harm in that. Other Christians, primarily of the Evangelical and Fundamentalist variety, are concerned about Halloween, and reject the holiday because they believe it trivializes and celebrates "the occult" and what they perceive as evil. A response among some fundamentalists in recent years has been the use of Hell houses or themed pamphlets such as those of Jack T. Chick which attempt to make use of Halloween as an opportunity for evangelism.

Some consider Halloween to be completely incompatible with the Christian faith due to its origin as a Pagan "Festival of the Dead. Many contemporary Protestant churches view Halloween as a fun event for children, holding events in their churches where children and their parents can dress up, play games, and get candy.

Religions other than Christianity also have varied views on Halloween. Some Wiccans feel that the tradition is offensive to "real witches" for promoting stereotypical caricatures of "wicked witches". All Saints' Day also called All Hallows or Hallowmas , often shortened to All Saints, is a feast celebrated on November 1 in Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity in honour of all the saints, known and unknown.

In terms of Western Christian theology, the feast commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in heaven. Specifically, in the Roman Catholic Church, the next day, All Souls' Day, commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven. His wife, Empress Theophano - commemorated on December 16—lived a devout life. After her death, her husband built a church, intending to dedicate it to her. When he was forbidden to do so, he decided to dedicate it to "All Saints," so that if his wife were in fact one of the righteous, she would also be honored whenever the feast was celebrated.

According to tradition, it was Leo who expanded the feast from a commemoration of All Martyrs to a general commemoration of All Saints, whether martyrs or not. This Sunday marks the close of the Paschal season. To the normal Sunday services are added special scriptural readings and hymns to all the saints known and unknown from the Pentecostarion. The third Sunday after Pentecost may be observed for even more localized saints, such as "All Saints of St. Petersburg", or for saints of a particular type, such as "New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke.

The origin of the festival of All Saints as celebrated in the West dates to May 13, or , when Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs; the feast of the dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Martyres has been celebrated at Rome ever since. The chosen day, May 13th, was a Pagan observation of great antiquity, the culmination of three days of the Feast of the Lemures, in which the malevolent and restless spirits of the dead were propitiated.

Liturgiologists of the Middle Ages based the idea that this Lemuria festival was the origin of that of All Saints on their identical dates and on the similar theme of "all the dead".

Peter's for the relics "of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just made perfect who are at rest throughout the world", with the day moved to November 1. This usually fell within a few weeks of the Celtic holiday of Samhain, which had a theme similar to that of Lemuria, but which was also a harvest festival. The Irish, whose holiday Samhain had been, did not celebrate All Hallows Day on this November 1 date, as extant historical documents attest that the celebration in Ireland took place in the spring: A November festival of all the saints was already widely celebrated on November 1 in the days of Charlemagne.

It was made a day of obligation throughout the Frankish empire in , by a decree of Louis the Pious, issued "at the instance of Pope Gregory IV and with the assent of all the bishops", which confirmed its celebration on November 1st. The octave was added by Pope Sixtus IV — The festival was retained after the Reformation in the calendar of the Anglican Church and in many Lutheran churches. In the Lutheran churches, such as the Church of Sweden, it assumes a role of general commemoration of the dead.

In the Swedish calendar, the observance takes place on the Saturday between October 31st and November 6th. In many Lutheran Churches, it is moved to the first Sunday of November. It is held, not only to remember Saints, but also to remember all those that have died from the local church congregation. A candle is lit by the Acolyte as each person's name is called out. Then, a liturgical prayer is offered for each soul in Heaven. In Portugal and Spain, ofrendas offerings are made on this day.

In Spain, the play Don Juan Tenorio is traditionally performed. This day and the one before and one after it is spent visiting the graves of deceased relatives, where prayers and flowers are offered, candles are lit and the graves themselves are cleaned, repaired and repainted. Day of the Dead Spanish: The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.

It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones.

Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures. The Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico can be traced back to the indigenous cultures. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 2,—3, years. In the pre-Hispanic era, it was common to keep skulls as trophies and display them during the rituals to symbolize death and rebirth.

The festival that became the modern Day of the Dead fell in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, about the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month. The festivities were dedicated to the god known as the "Lady of the Dead", corresponding to the modern Catrina. In most regions of Mexico, November 1st honors children and infants, whereas deceased adults are honored on November 2nd. People go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed and build private altars containing the favorite foods and beverages as well as photos and memorabilia of the departed.

The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so that the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them. Celebrations can take a humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed. Plans for the day are made throughout the year, including gathering the goods to be offered to the dead.

These flowers are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offerings. Toys are brought for dead children los angelitos, or "the little angels" , and bottles of tequila, mezcal or pulque or jars of atole for adults. Families will also offer trinkets or the deceased's favorite candies on the grave.

Ofrendas are also put in homes, usually with foods such as candied pumpkin, pan de muerto "bread of the dead" , and sugar skulls and beverages such as atole. The ofrendas are left out in the homes as a welcoming gesture for the deceased. Some people believe the spirits of the dead eat the "spiritual essence" of the ofrendas food, so even though the celebrators eat the food after the festivities, they believe it lacks nutritional value.

Pillows and blankets are left out so that the deceased can rest after their long journey. In many places, people have picnics at the grave site as well. Some families build altars or small shrines in their homes; these usually have the Christian cross, statues or pictures of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pictures of deceased relatives and other persons, scores of candles and an ofrenda. Traditionally, families spend some time around the altar, praying and telling anecdotes about the deceased. In some locations, celebrants wear shells on their clothing, so that when they dance, the noise will wake up the dead; some will also dress up as the deceased.

Public schools at all levels build altars with ofrendas, usually omitting the religious symbols. Government offices usually have at least a small altar, as this holiday is seen as important to the Mexican heritage.

Those with a distinctive talent for writing sometimes create short poems, called calaveras "skulls" , mocking epitaphs of friends, describing interesting habits and attitudes or funny anecdotes. This custom originated in the 18th or 19th century, after a newspaper published a poem narrating a dream of a cemetery in the future, "and all of us were dead", proceeding to "read" the tombstones.

A common symbol of the holiday is the skull colloquially called calavera , which celebrants represent in masks, called calacas colloquial term for "skeleton" , and foods such as sugar or chocolate skulls, which are inscribed with the name of the recipient on the forehead.

Sugar skulls are gifts that can be given to both the living and the dead. Other holiday foods include pan de muerto, a sweet egg bread made in various shapes from plain rounds to skulls and rabbits, often decorated with white frosting to look like twisted bones. Posada's striking image of a costumed female with a skeleton face has become associated with the Day of the Dead, and Catrina figures often are a prominent part of modern Day of the Dead observances.

The traditions and activities that take place in celebration of the Day of the Dead are not universal and often vary from town to town. On November 1 of the year after a child's death, the godparents set a table in the parents' home with sweets, fruits, pan de muerto, a cross, a rosary used to ask the Virgin Mary to pray for them and candles. This is meant to celebrate the child's life, in respect and appreciation for the parents.

There is also dancing with colorful costumes, often with skull-shaped masks and devil masks in the plaza or garden of the town. At midnight on November 2, the people light candles and ride winged boats called mariposas Spanish for "butterflies" to Janitzio, an island in the middle of the lake where there is a cemetery, to honor and celebrate the lives of the dead there.

In contrast, the town of Ocotepec, north of Cuernavaca in the State of Morelos, opens its doors to visitors in exchange for veladoras small wax candles to show respect for the recently deceased. In return, the visitors receive tamales and atole. This is only done by the owners of the house where somebody in the household has died in the previous year. In some parts of the country especially the cities, where in recent years there are displaced other customs , children in costumes roam the streets, knocking on people's doors for a calaverita, a small gift of candies or money; they also ask passersby for it.

This custom is similar to that of Halloween's trick-or-treating and is relatively recent. Some people believe that possessing Day of the Dead items can bring good luck. Many people get tattoos or have dolls of the dead to carry with them. They also clean their houses and prepare the favorite dishes of their deceased loved ones to place upon their altar or ofrenda.

In many United States communities with Mexican residents, Day of the Dead celebrations are held that are very similar to those held in Mexico. In some of these communities, such as in Texas and Arizona, the celebrations tend to be mostly traditional. For example, the All Souls Procession has been an annual Tucson event since The event combines elements of traditional Day of the Dead celebrations with those of pagan harvest festivals.

People wearing masks carry signs honoring the dead and an urn in which people can place slips of paper with prayers on them to be burned. In other communities, interactions between Mexican traditions and American culture are resulting in celebrations in which Mexican traditions are being extended to make artistic or sometimes political statements.

An updated, inter-cultural version of the Day of the Dead is also evolving at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. There, in a mixture of Mexican traditions and Hollywood hip, conventional altars are set up side-by-side with altars to Jayne Mansfield and Johnny Ramone.

Colorful native dancers and music intermix with performance artists, while sly pranksters play on traditional themes. Oakland is home to Corazon Del Pueblo in the Fruitvale district.

Corazon Del Pueblo has a shop offering handcrafted Mexican gifts and a museum devoted to Day of the Dead artifacts. In Missoula, Montana, skeletal celebrants on stilts, novelty bicycles, and skis parade through town. People bring offerings of flowers, photos, mementos, and food for their departed loved ones, which they place at an elaborately and colorfully decorated altar. A program of traditional music and dance also accompanies the community event. Guatemalan celebrations of the Day of the Dead are highlighted by the construction and flying of giant kites in addition to the traditional visits to grave sites of ancestors.

A big event also is the consumption of fiambre, which is made only for this day during the year. In Ecuador, the Day of the Dead is observed to some extent by all parts of society, though it is especially important to the indigenous Kichwa peoples who make up an estimated quarter of the population.

Indigena families gather together in the community cemetery with offerings of food for a day-long remembrance of their ancestors and lost loved ones. Ceremonial foods include colada morada, a spiced fruit porridge that derives its deep purple color from the Andean blackberry and purple maize.

This is typically consumed with guagua de pan, a bread shaped like a swaddled infant, though variations include many pigs—the latter being traditional to the city of Loja. The bread, which is wheat flour-based today but was made with cornmeal in the pre-Columbian era, can be made savory with cheese inside or sweet with a filling of guava paste. These traditions have permeated into mainstream society as well, where food establishments add both colada morada and gaugua de pan to their menus for the season.

Many non-indigenous Ecuadorians partake in visiting the graves of the deceased and preparing the traditional foods as well. Similar to other Day of the Dead celebrations, people go to cemeteries and churches with flowers, candles, and prayer. The celebration is intended to be positive to celebrate those who are deceased.

In Haiti, voodoo traditions mix with Roman Catholic observances as, for example, loud drums and music are played at all-night celebrations at cemeteries to waken Baron Samedi, the Loa of the dead, and his mischievous family of offspring, the Gede. In pre-Columbian times, indigenous Andeans had a tradition of sharing a day with the bones of their ancestors on the third year after burial; however, only the skulls are used today.

Traditionally, the skull of one or more family members are kept at home to watch over the family and protect them during the year. On November 9th, the family crowns the skull with fresh flowers, sometimes also dressing it up in various garments, and makes offerings of cigarettes, coca leaves, alcohol, and various other items in thanks for the year's protection.

The skulls are also sometimes taken to the central cemetery in La Paz for a special Mass and blessing. In many countries with a Roman Catholic heritage, All Saints Day and All Souls Day have long been holidays in which people take the day off work, go to cemeteries with candles and flowers, and give presents to children, usually sweets and toys.

In Portugal and Spain, ofrendas "offerings" are made on this day. In Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Ireland, people bring flowers to the graves of dead relatives and say prayers over the dead.

In Tyrol, cakes are left for them on the table, and the room kept warm for their comfort. In Brittany, people flock to the cemeteries at nightfall to kneel, bareheaded, at the graves of their loved ones and to anoint the hollow of the tombstone with holy water or to pour libations of milk on it. At bedtime, the supper is left on the table for the souls. Local citizens join in a celebration of the Day of the Dead put on by a theatre group with masks, candles, and sugar skulls.

The traditions were imported during the Philippines' Spanish colonial era. Tombs are cleaned or repainted, candles are lit, and flowers are offered. Entire families camp in cemeteries and sometimes spend a night or two near their relatives' tombs. Card games, eating, drinking, singing and dancing are common activities in the cemetery. It is considered a very important holiday by many Filipinos after Christmas and Holy Week , and additional days are normally given as special non-working holidays but only November 1 is a regular holiday.

Mexican-style Day of the Dead celebrations can also be found in Wellington, New Zealand, complete with altars celebrating the deceased with flowers and gifts. Many other cultures around the world have similar traditions of a day set aside to visit the graves of deceased family members.

Often included in these traditions are celebrations, food and beverages, in addition to prayers and remembrances of the departed. In Korea, Chuseok is a major traditional holiday, also called Hangawi. People go where the spirits of one's ancestors are enshrined and perform ancestral worship rituals early in the morning; they visit the tombs of immediate ancestors to trim plants, clean the area around the tomb, and offer food, drink, and crops to their ancestors.

The Ching Ming Festival is a traditional Chinese festival usually occurring around April 5th of the Gregorian calendar. Along with Double Ninth Festival on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese calendar, it is a time to tend to the graves of departed ones.

In addition, in the Chinese tradition, the seventh month in the Chinese calendar is called the Ghost Month, in which ghosts and spirits come out from the underworld to visit earth. During the Nepali holiday of Gai Jatra "Cow Pilgrimage" , every family who has lost a family member during the previous year makes a construction of bamboo branches, cloth, paper decorations and portraits of the deceased, called a gai. Traditionally, a cow leads the spirits of the dead into the next land.

Depending on local custom, either an actual live cow or a construct representing a cow may be used. The festival is also a time to dress up in costume, including costumes involving political comments and satire. In some cultures in Africa, visits to the graves of ancestors, the leaving of food and gifts, and the asking of protection serve as important parts of traditional rituals. One example of this is the ritual that occurs just before the beginning of hunting season. In some tribes of the Amazon, they believe that the dead return as flowers rather than butterflies.

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada.

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