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Today’s Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which are believed to have pagan roots. Halloween you can’t scare me i work at almart shirt Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that “there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived”. Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which comes from the Old Irish for ‘summer’s end’.” Samhain/Calan Gaeaf marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or the ‘darker half’ of the year.
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Like Beltane/Calan Mai, it was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld thinned. This meant the Aos Sí (Connacht pronunciation /iːsˈʃiː/ eess-SHEE, Munster /e:s ʃi:/), the ‘spirits’ or ‘fairies’, could more easily come into this world and were particularly active. Most scholars see the Aos Sí as “degraded versions of ancient gods […] whose power remained active in the people’s minds even after they had been officially replaced by later religious beliefs”. The Aos Sí were both respected and feared, with individuals often invoking the protection of God when approaching their dwellings. At Samhain, it was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink, or portions of the crops, were left outside for the Aos Sí.The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes seeking hospitality.