Halloween Party Food
"Halloween...is thought to have derived from a pre-Christian festival known as Samhain...celebrated among the Celtic peoples...Samhain was the principal feast day of a year that began on 1 November. Traditionally, bonfires were lit as part of the celebration. It was believed that the spirits of those who had died during the previous twelve months were granted access into the otherworld during Samhain...Scholars know little about the actual practicies and beliefs associated with Samhain. Most account were not written down until centuries after the conversion of Ireland to Christianity...and then by Christian monks recording ancient sagas. From the evidence, we know that Samhain was a focal point of the yearly cycle, and that traditions of leaving out offerings of food and drink to comfort the wandering spirits had joined the bonfire custom. Also, the tradition of mumming--dressing in disguise and performing from home to home in exchange for food or drink, as well as pranking, perhaps a customary activity of the wandering spirits, or simply as a customary activity found throughout Europe--had become part of the occasion...Halloween was brought to North America with Irish and British colonists, although it was not widely observed until the large influx of European immigrants in the nineteenth century."