Informative Speech Outline
Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the History of Halloween and why it's a contradiction.
A. Attention Getter - "A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
B. Introduce Topic - To simply do something because it's what everyone else is doing without knowing the reasons why they're doing it, is conformity. You might understand the term conformity when used as "sheeple" in the political world. Those who go with the growd, just because. Halloween and Religion seem like two natural opposites - good and evil brought to life.
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Transition to main points - In order to fully understand how this seemingly innocent day of celebration, creativity and self expression is a contradiction, we need to look at several things.
II. Body - summary of main points / personal view
Transition to origins
When did this holiday begin and why? Was it of pagan origins or is there something more behind Halloween's history? How should Religions view this day in general? To understand these questions further, we need to go back to the roots of Halloween.
1. Celtic Origins
a. Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer, the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death.
b. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
c. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
d. To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.
2. Halloween & Religion
a. By 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today.
b. Around AD 600, Pope Boniface IV created All Saints’ Day, and Pope Gregory III later moved this holiday to November 1 in an effort to give a Christian alternative to this pagan celebration.5 (answersingenesis.org)
Christians who did not want to...