A certain Jack Bray, writing about Halloween in the St Petersburg Times, tries to push all the right American buttons by giving credit to the Irish, the Romans and the Christian Church. Trouble is, I used to live in Ireland and I never saw evidence that the Romans ‘conquered most of the Irish lands.’ Unless he means that Britain is part of the Irish Empire. Now there’s a nice thought…


Around A.D. 43, the celebrations got bigger when the Romans conquered most of the Irish lands. The Romans combined their feasts of Feralia (the passing of the dead) and Pomona (the goddess of fruit and trees) with the Celtic feast of Samhain. Pomona was symbolized by carrying fruit and wearing a crown of apples, which might explain “bobbing for apples” at Halloween.


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