Tonight marks Halloween 2011, and the entire town will be out in costume for Portsmouth’s annual Halloween Parade. I’ve always loved how so many people get into the parade with outlandish outfits.
The boys and ghouls at Ri Ra will be no different. They’ll be getting into the spirit of things with costumes and specials all night, so Dave and I have decided (at the last minute) to perform tonight’s show in costume. Now to find something that won’t get in the way of playing or singing…
Of course, it only makes sense to celebrate Halloween in an Irish pub, since the holiday started as a Celtic pagan celebration! There is a really interesting description of the holiday at The Irish Genealogy Toolkit, which starts:
“To find the origin of Halloween, you have to look to the festival of Samhain in Ireland’s Celtic past. Samhain had three distinct elements. Firstly, it was an important fire festival, celebrated over the evening of 31 October and throughout the following day. The flames of old fires had to be extinguished and ceremonially re-lit by druids.
It was also a festival not unlike the modern New Year’s Day in that it carried the notion of casting out the old and moving into the new. To our pagan ancestors it marked the end of the pastoral cycle – a time when all the crops would have been gathered and placed in storage for the long winter ahead and when livestock would be brought in from the fields and selected for slaughter or breeding.
But it was also, as the last day of the year, the time when the souls of the departed would return to their former homes and when potentially malevolent spirits were released from the Otherworld and were visible to mankind.”
Apparently, the holiday also marked the end of the apple harvest season, since it was believed that the puca – or evil fairies – would spit on any unharvested apples making them inedible.
Looks like I’ll be having a couple of Magners Ciders in celebration tonight.
Hope you’ll swing by…and watch out for any banshees!