Tonight, Halloween, has a long history concerning folklore. Known as “All Hallow’s Eve”, it is the night before All Saints’ Day, also known as, Samhain (pronounced Sam-ween). All Saints’ Day was established by the early Church to counteract the pagan roots of the Celtic “All Hallow’s Eve”, a night of celebrating the dead. So, the night we call Halloween has long been know as the night that lost souls wandered the land. To help guide the lost souls, people would set out candles or lanterns, which later turned into the custom of carving pumpkins and placing a light in them. Bonfires were also built. Another old custom was to leave little cakes out for the wandering souls so they could eat….and not bother the living! Eventually, people started dressing up as these lost souls and asking for food, a practice called “guising”. Going place to place out of costume was called, “mumming”.
Concerning weatherlore, the night we know as Halloween is a marking point on the calendar. It is the mid-point (give or take a day) between the first day of autumn and the first day of winter. It is also an ancient harvest celebration, marking the end of the growing season and the beginning of the dark, cold months.