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View Full Version : Was Halloween celebrated in 15th C. renaissance Hungary?



Tepelus
11-07-2008, 07:03 PM
I have a scene in my story that the royal court puts on a masquerade ball on Halloween and now after a little research, I doubt that they would've even celebrated the holiday. I need to know so I can determine whether or not to delete this scene, which goes on for a few pages in the story. So far, all signs point to no. Thanks for any help.

IceCreamEmpress
11-07-2008, 07:30 PM
Halloween isn't celebrated in Hungary even today. Masquerades were, and are still, associated with Farsang, the carnival period before the beginning of Lent. This webpage (http://www.branchesofculture.com/farsang/farsangmain.html) talks about modern-day Farsang customs.

Angelinity
11-07-2008, 07:39 PM
Tepelus, i suppose you can substitute an All Saints Day worship for Halloween... All Saits Day was a pagan holiday and if your WIP is fictional you might be able to stretch it...

For what it's worth you can have a look at this...

http://www.gospelcenterchurch.org/halloween.html

Tepelus
11-07-2008, 11:04 PM
Thank you very much! I'm going to remove the scene and incorporate Farsang into the book, which seems quite interesting. I did more searching into this festival and found that it begins the 6th of January until the day before Lent, and it seems that they have done this back in the period my story takes place. It was basically a period of merrymaking and feasting until the period of fasting during Lent, and to celebrate the coming of Spring and the departure of Winter.

Medievalist
11-07-2008, 11:20 PM
Tepelus, i suppose you can substitute an All Saints Day worship for Halloween... All Saits Day was a pagan holiday and if your WIP is fictional you might be able to stretch it...

For what it's worth you can have a look at this...

http://www.gospelcenterchurch.org/halloween.html

All Saints was never a pagan holiday; the word saints sorta gives that away.

The site you linked to--and I know you have no way of knowing this--is absolute crap in terms of history and reality.

The Celts celebrated Samain/Samhain. It was not a feast of the dead, nor a celebration of evil nor even the Celtic New Year.

It was mostly a harvest fest.

The quotations on that page that are ostensibly from Encyclopedias are made up--particularly any references to the devil, which is NOT Celtic.

StephanieFox
11-07-2008, 11:31 PM
In some places (mostly Christian anti-Pagan sources) you may read that Samhain is the God of death. It most certainly is not. It is the first day of winter in a culture that has two seasons winter, the dormant season and summer, the growing season.

The Catholic Church wisely decided that the best way to convert Pagans to Christianity was to incorporate holidays and give them a Christian twist. This is how All Saint's Day and All Souls Day came about. It's also the way Christmas (Winter Solstice and Satranalia of the Romans) and Easter (happening near Spring Equinox and the rising up of green plants and life) found their place on the calendar.

Mr Flibble
11-08-2008, 01:01 AM
The quotations on that page that are ostensibly from Encyclopedias are made up--particularly any references to the devil, which is NOT Celtic.

Absolutely - some of that website is mindbogglingly wrong and just reinforces common misinformation.

Think about it. It's really difficult to worship / ask for the devil's help when as far as you're concerned he doesn't exist. The devil is a Christian/ Islam thing - other religions do not believe in him.

Sorry - rant over.

Medievalist
11-08-2008, 01:07 AM
I'm of course a little biased (http://www.digitalmedievalist.com/faqs/samain.html).

But this is one of those times when I feel very confident about asserting, yeah, I do know better than most :D

mscelina
11-08-2008, 01:24 AM
Gee, Medi--I had to dust off my brain a little to read that. ;) I have to admit, though, it amazes me how many people actually believe that All Saints' Day is a pagan holiday.

But seriously--the modern version of Halloween has basically been manufactured over the past couple of centuries.You're going to be a lot better off with a pre-Lentan festivity.

Angelinity
11-08-2008, 01:30 AM
yeah, i should've read through before posting the link... itching everywhere now... no cookies for me!

KTC
11-08-2008, 01:33 AM
As a Catholic, I was often reminded of the day following All Saints...All Souls. November 2nd, when we prayed for those who have not yet fully atoned...those on the brink of entering Heaven. The day dedicated to those who needed one last Silkwood shower before the gates would open. We called it Final Push Day.

johnnysannie
11-08-2008, 04:08 AM
Tepelus, i suppose you can substitute an All Saints Day worship for Halloween... All Saits Day was a pagan holiday and if your WIP is fictional you might be able to stretch it...

For what it's worth you can have a look at this...

http://www.gospelcenterchurch.org/halloween.html

By the 15th century era, All Saints Day was a Catholic holy day (still is) not a pagan holiday. The actual pagan holiday was called Samhain and in the ancient Celtic calender it was the first day of the new year, Samhain Eve was the night before, a time when the portals between worlds opened and the dead could move among humans.

By the 15th century and Renaissance times, the Reformation was stirring. Up until then, when various Christian sects formed, all Christianity WAS Catholic.

ideagirl
11-08-2008, 09:53 PM
Tepelus, i suppose you can substitute an All Saints Day worship for Halloween... All Saits Day was a pagan holiday and if your WIP is fictional you might be able to stretch it...
For what it's worth you can have a look at this...
http://www.gospelcenterchurch.org/halloween.html

All Saints Day is (not was) a Catholic (not Pagan) holiday that coincides with a Celtic Pagan holiday (Samhain, pronounced SOW-en); All Saints Day is Nov. 1. By the way, whoever wrote that website you linked to is on crack--it's riddled with factual errors (e.g., Samhain is not the name of the Lord of the Dead; Samhain is not and was not associated with sacrificial offerings; etc., yada yada).

But, back to the OP (original poster)'s question: I'm not sure whether All Saints Day was celebrated in Hungary in the 15th century, but if it was I doubt it was associated with costume balls. Hungary was a mix of Catholic and Orthodox, and I have no idea whether or how they would've celebrated All Saints Day then (my understanding is it's celebrated with a mass, not parties). So to have a costume ball in 15th-c. Hungary, your best bet is probably February, right before Lent--the time that we now know as Mardi Gras.

Tepelus
11-09-2008, 01:15 AM
I removed the scene and will forget about All Saints Day altogether. I wrote this story 11 years ago, when I was 19 with limited resources for research. I lived in a small town, with a small library and limited internet access, and then there wasn't much to find on the internet on the era of which the story takes place. I'm now going through it and editing in hopes to maybe, possibly, get it published.