Monday, October 5, 2020

Hallowtide by Kristy McCaffrey

Halloween is near, but it wasn’t always a one-day celebration. It evolved from a triduum called Hallowtide (derived from halig, meaning saint, and tide, meaning season). While many cultures celebrate the dead from October 31 to November 2, the most notable contributions to our westernized celebration of Halloween come from the Roman Catholics, the Mexicans, and the Celts.

In Catholic theology, November 1 is All Saints’ Day and commemorates those who have reached perfect salvation. The following day, November 2, is All Souls’ Day, devoted to those who have not reached a beatific vision. It stands as a day of prayer for the dead, and lighting a fire or lantern was often done to provide guidance to the souls of the dead. Public worship, or liturgy, would begin on the eve of All Saints’ Day, thus making Halloween All Saints’ Eve or Hallows Eve.

In Mexican culture, celebrations of the dead can be traced back thousands of years. Giant skulls, sugar skulls, shrines, decorated rabbits, poems and dancing with colorful costumes and devil masks in the town center are all part of Day of the Dead (October 31 – November 2) celebrations, and are thought to bring good luck and peace. It encompasses All Hallows’ Eve, when spirits of dead children are welcomed with the presence of a children’s altar; All Saints’ Day, when adult spirits are invited; and All Souls’ Day, when families visit cemeteries.

In ancient Gaelic culture, the end of harvest season was celebrated with the festival of Samhain, beginning at sunset on October 31 and lasting until sunset on November 1. This is a liminal period for the spirits, or aos sí, to enter our world. Lighting bonfires served as protection from the spirits and costumes were thought to help in appeasing them. Divination and feasting rituals were also practiced.

Don't miss these short reads featuring three bounty hunting brothers and the women who capture their hearts!

The Crow and the Coyote
The Crow Series: Novella 1
Among the red-rock canyons of the Navajo, bounty hunter Jack Boggs faces Navajo sorcery to aid Hannah Dobbin in a quest to save her pa's soul.

The Crow and the Bear
The Crow Series: Novella 2
When no one will help Jennie Livingstone enter a haunted ravine to find her papa, she must accept the aid of enigmatic bounty hunter Callum Boggs.

A Murder of Crows
The Crow Series: Novella 3
Eliza McCulloch is determined to reclaim her family book of spells and her only hope is Kester Boggs, a manhunter called The Crow.


Visit Kristy's website for her latest book news!


Julie Lence said...

Interesting how 3 different cultures and/or religions celebrations are for the same belief. Thank you for sharing, Kristy!

Kristy McCaffrey said...

My favorite time of year. Thanks for stopping by, Julie!