Hallow’s Evening….Or As We Now Know It, Halloween

Posted By on October 31, 2010

Back in (approx.) 823 B.C., the most inventive, charming and clever people ever to grace God’s green earth came up with an ingenious idea.  They were, of course, the Irish (at this time A/K/A the Celts).  Being bright they did not labor upon the obvious.  So they let somebody else invent fire, the wheel, iron, astronomy, writing, calendars, etc.  These they figured they could copy – – and boy did they.  These clever folks, well, they tended to save their strength for what was really important.

By this stratagem, just a 1000 years earlier, while pagan types were grappling with such mediocrity as pyramids, irrigation and geometry, the Celts had learned to distill grain.  This miracle medicinal cure (which would maintain mankind for over 3000 years) they called Usquebah.  The amazed and very indebted rest of the world mis-translated the name as “whiskey”.

So for a millennia these wise and whiskey-witty folk enjoyed good health and good fellowship.  Then as this particular day approached (circa 823 B.C.), possible gender conflict arose.  The women began expecting the men to hang out close to the cave as the evening came earlier each fall.  If civilization were to progress this would never do!

So the Celtic elders came up with the second great invention.  They called it “Samhain” or end of summer.  They explained to the women that as the season changed, ghosts, goblins and evil spirits came forth to threaten all humans.  In order to protect the women and children, the men folk selflessly would have to put on old clothes, take some jugs of the magic Usquebah (possible snake bite you know) and go into the hills and light fires.

For nearly 1000 years the tradition held.  Then came the good St. Patrick who was wise enough to keep the Usquebah but drove out the snakes.

Conveniently, his Christian teaching did say that November 1st was the Feast of All Saints.  So it only seemed logical that if the saints were coming out, the devils would have one last fling.  So, snakes or no, we needed old clothes, bonfires and booze on the eve of “All Hallows”  or Hallow’s Evening or Halloween.

Art Cashin, On The Floor Of The New York Stock Exchange

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