Spooky Fun Saturday at O’Connor’s

RKB_Poster_25OCT14_v1Grab your best buds and move your feet down to O’Connor’s in Delray Beach this Saturday, October 25, where the fun starts at 4pm. The Roaring Kelly Band comes with blazing good tunes and raucous songs.

When witches go riding
And black cats are seen,
The band gets to playing
’cause it’s near Halloween!

It’s the weekend before Halloween or All Hallows Eve when the veil between the world of the living and the spirits is diminished. Time to jump and jam like it’s worth living. It’s also happy hour and O’Connor’s friendly bar crew keeps you in good spirits.  Speaking of spirits, spooks can’t keep up when the band launches into some vicious jigs, righteous reels, and high-stepping hornpipes.

Did you know that this spook-filled celebration is rooted in the Irish tradition? The Celtic celebration of Samhain (SAH-win), occurred when the full moon rose midway between the Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice.  It was the Celtic New Year, but it was celebrated for an entirely different reason than we celebrate our New Year today.  To the Celts, winter was coming, crops were dying, days were growing shorter, and the specter of death hung heavy in the air.  The real reason for the celebration however, was the fact that Oiche Samhain (EE-ha SOW-win), or the eve of Samhain had passed for another 12 months, for Oiche Samhain was a dangerous night indeed.  It was on that night that the veil between the natural and supernatural worlds was lowered, and residents of the underworld, both good and evil, were free to roam the earth.  It was the holiday of the dead and the sidh (shee) – the supernatural residents of the fairy kingdom, both fun-loving and fearful.

In 432 A.D., Saint Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, but the old ways persisted.  Rome attempted to take the easy way out and absorbed the tradition into its own calendar.  For centuries, the Church had honored its martyrs and saints on May 13, so in 844 A.D. Pope Gregory IV transferred the saints’ feast to November 1, renaming it All Hallows Day.  Yet, 500 years later, Celtic descendants were still commemorating their 3-day New Year Feast of the Dead.  In the 14th century, Rome decreed November 2 would be known as All Souls Day and masses would be said for the departed who had not yet been admitted to heaven.  In an effort to finally eradicate the ancient festival, October 31 was titled All Hallows Eve and installed on the Church calendar as a vigil of preparation for the 2-day religious observance.

Henceforth, November 1 would be All Hallows Day – a day to honor the souls that had achieved heaven, followed by All Souls Day, a time to pray for the deceased who were still awaiting redemption.  To the Irish however, All Hallows evening retained the connotation of a time dedicated to the spirits and many of the ancient customs lived on.

Celtic facts about this holiday were found at: http://thewildgeese.com/profiles/blogs/it-s-a-celtic-feast