Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) September 21, 2005
The haunted history of Halloween has been unveiled at http://www.tophalloweenlinks.com, the internet's most comprehensive Halloween web directory.
For journalists, educators, students and fans of the holiday, Top Halloween Links offers a new series of articles explaining the traditions and history of Halloween.
"Tens of millions celebrate Halloween," says Top Halloween Links editor John Retzer, "but few have ever stopped to think about its origins."
- Halloween's beginnings lie in an ancient Celtic holy day known as Samhain (pronounced sow-en). Held on October 31, the event marked the end of summer (it means "summer's end"). According to Celtic tradition, Samhain was the night on which the spirits of all those who had died during the previous year returned to wander the earth. The night was commemorated with bonfires and costumes.
- Trick-or-treating is related to a medieval custom called "souling," in which beggars went door-to-door, asking for food in exchange for prayers for the family's departed loved ones. Medieval Christians believed that souls that were neither pure enough to get into Heaven, nor corrupt enough to be condemned to Hell were sent to a place called Purgatory. If a soul had enough prayers said on its behalf, it would later be allowed into Heaven.
In addition to the origins of Halloween, the articles at Top Halloween Links explore many of the things that have become a part of Halloween lore, such as Jack O'Lanterns, costumes, witches, werewolves, vampires and the Frankenstein monster.
"This is a great resource for journalists working on Halloween features, for teachers developing lesson plans, and for students writing reports," Retzer says. "The history behind Halloween's traditions and symbols is absolutely fascinating."
For those interested in further explanation of the holiday, Top Halloween Links also offers a web directory dedicated to listing every Halloween and Horror related site on the internet. There currently are more than 6,000 websites listed in nearly 500 categories.
"The web offers an amazing variety of Halloween sites," Retzer says. "And we're trying to collect all of them on this site."
Webmasters with a Halloween or Horror related site, are invited to register their own sites with http://www.tophalloweenlinks.com Registration is fast, easy and free.
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