Samhain 2013
October 31 to November 1, 2013 in the World

Samhain is observed on October 31, 2013. Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. Most commonly it is held on 31 October – 1 November, or halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Along with Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh it makes up the four Gaelic seasonal festivals. It was observed in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.

Kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands. Samhain is still celebrated as a cultural festival by some (though it has mostly been replaced by Halloween) and, since the 20th century, has been celebrated as a religious festival by Celtic neopagans and Wiccans. Neopagans in the Southern Hemisphere often celebrate Samhain at the other end of the year (~30 April – 1 May). Some Neopagans celebrate it at the astronomical midpoint between the autumn equinox and winter solstice (or the full moon nearest this point).

In the Northern Hemisphere, this midpoint is when the ecliptic longitude of the Sun reaches 225 degrees. Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature. Many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It was popularized as the “Celtic New Year” from the late 19th century, following Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer.

Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.
History of Samhain
http://www.twopagans.com/holiday/Samhain.html
Samhain Lore
http://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/samhainlore.htm

Where is Samhain?
Worldwide

Halloween 2013
October 31, 2013 in the World

Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints, but is today largely a secular celebration. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, ghost tours, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Eve, that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (the feast of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556. Thus there is no evidence of the term for this day before the 16th century Reformation.

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. This larger American influence, particularly in iconic and commercial elements, has extended to places such as South America, Europe, to Japan under the auspices of the Japanese Biscuit Association, and other parts of East Asia.

Where is Halloween?
Worldwide

Hop-tu-Naa 2013
October 31, 2013 in Isle of Man

Hop-tu-Naa is observed on October 31, 2013. Hop-tu-Naa is a Celtic festival celebrated in the Isle of Man. Predating Halloween, it is the celebration of the original New Year’s Eve. For modern Hop-tu-Naa, children dress up and go from house to house with the hope of being given sweets or money, as elsewhere. However, the children carry carved “turnip” lanterns rather than pumpkins and sing Hop-tu-naa songs. In older times, children would have also brought the stumps of turnips with them and batter the doors of those who refused to give them any money, in an ancient form of trick or treat. This practice appears to have died out.

Where is Hop-tu-Naa?
Nationwide Isle of Man

Hallowmas 2013
October 31 to November 2, 2013 in the World

Hallowmas takes place on October 31, 2013. Hallowmas, also known as the Triduum of All Hallows (Triduum of All Saints), is the triduum encompassing the Western Christian observances of All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Soul’s Day, which last from October 31 to November 2 annually. These dates of Hallowmas were established in the 8th century AD.

Where is Hallowmas?
Worldwide

Punkie Night 2013
October 31, 2013 in Somerset

Punkie Night is observed on October 31, 2013. Punkie Night is an English custom practised on the last Thursday of October, in Somerset in England. Children will march around with a jack o’lantern, singing a song which goes: “It’s Punkie Night tonight / It’s Punkie Night tonight / Adam and Eve would not believe / It’s Punkie Night tonight.” There are some variants of this old rhyme which also include these lines: “Give me a candle, give me a light If you don’t, you’ll get a fright”, or alternatively: “Give me a candle give me light If you haven’t a candle, a penny’s all right”. No one knows how the custom originated, although it is almost certainly linked with Hallowe’en.

Where is Punkie Night?
Nationwide Somerset

Carve a Pumpkin Day
October 31, 2013 in the World

Carve a Pumpkin Day is observed on October 31, 2013. Pumpkins are commonly carved into decorative lanterns called jack-o’-lanterns for the Halloween season in North America. The practice of craving pumpkins for Halloween orginated from an Irish myth about a man name “Stingy Jack”. In the United States, the carved pumpkin was first associated with the harvest season in general, long before it became an emblem of Halloween.

Sections of the pumpkin are cut out to make holes, often depicting a face, which may be either cheerful, scary, or comical. A variety of tools can be used to carve and hollow out the gourd, ranging from simple knives and spoons to specialized instruments, typically sold in holiday sections of North American grocery stores. Printed stencils can be used as a guide for increasingly complex designs.

After carving, a light source (traditionally a candle) is placed inside the pumpkin and the top is put back into place. The light is normally inserted to illuminate the design from the inside and add an extra measure of spookiness. Sometimes a chimney is carved, too. It is possible to create surprisingly artistic designs, be they simple or intricate in nature.

Where is Carve a Pumpkin Day?
Worldwide

Day of the Dead
October 31 to November 2, 2013 in Mexico

Day of the Dead is celebrated from October 31 till November 02, 2013. Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. 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 is a national holiday, and all banks are closed.

The celebration takes place on November 1 and 2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. 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. They also leave possessions of the deceased. Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl.

The holiday has spread throughout the world: 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.

Where is Day of the Dead?
Nationwide Mexico

World Savings Day
October 31, 2013 in the World

World Savings Day is celebrated on October 31, 2013. The World Savings Day was established on October 31, 1924, during the 1st International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks) in Milano, Italy. Representatives of 29 countries wanted to bring to mind the thought of saving to the worldwide public and its relevance to the economy and the individual.

The World Savings Day is usually held on October 31 except in countries where this day is a public holiday, since the idea is for the banks to be open, so that the people are able to transfer their savings into their account. In Germany World Savings Day is held on the last business day before October 31 since this is a public holiday in some States (Reformation Day).

Nowadays the focus of the banks that organise the World Savings Day is on developing countries, where many people are unbanked. Savings banks play an important role in enhancing savings in these countries with certain campaigns and initiatives such as working with non governmental organisations in order to double the number of savings accounts held by the poor.

Where is World Savings Day?
Worldwide

Nevada Day 2013
October 31, 2013 in Nevada

Nevada Day is celebrated on October 31, 2013. Nevada Day commemorates the admission of the state of Nevada into the union on October 31, 1864. The first known observance of Nevada Day (originally known as “Admission Day”) was by the Pacific Coast Pioneer society during the 1870s. It was not until 1933 that the state legislature designated October 31 as Nevada Day and a state holiday. On this holiday all state, county and city government offices are closed, along with most schools and libraries. Some private businesses, like banks, also close at their discretion. In Nevada’s capital, Carson City, a parade is held through the heart of downtown, as well as a carnival and several other events.

Where is Nevada Day?
Nationwide Nevada

Historical Events:

834 – 1st All Hallows Eve (Halloween) observed to honor the saints

1517 – Luther posts 95 theses on Wittenberg church – Protestant Reformation

1541 – Michelangelo Buonarroti finishes painting The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican

1815 – Sir Humphrey Davy of London patents miner’s safety lamp

1892 – Arthur Conan Doyle publishes The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

1917 – World War I: Battle of Beersheba – “last successful cavalry charge in history”

1940 – Battle of Britain, fought between the RAF and Luftwaffe over the English Channel and southern England, ends

1941 – Mount Rushmore Monument is completed

1952 – 1st thermonuclear bomb detonated at Marshall Islands

1961 – Federal judge rules that Birmingham, Alabama, laws against integrated playing fields are illegal

1968 – President Johnson orders a halt to all bombing of North Vietnam

1980 – Polish government recognizes Solidarity trade union

1988 – 1st Monday Night NFL game in Indianapolis, Colts beat Denver 55-23

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