Lecture: Samhain, All Hallows, and Los Muertos: The Many Guises of Halloween
October 27 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Today people usually think of trick-or-treating in scary costumes to get candy at Halloween—but where did these customs come from, and what did they mean before commercialism took hold? The cluster of “spooky” holidays around the end of October are descended from traditions that saw seasonal transitions as opening doors to a wide variety of spirit beings, who needed to be propitiated to keep humans safe. They are also a great example of how beliefs and practices from one culture are adopted and adapted by another to provide comfort in the face of that universal demon, Death. Join us here at the Ward Museum with Dr. Elizabeth Ragan, Salisbury University for a FREE lecture on where the customs of Halloween come from.
Doors open at 5:30 PM. Light refreshments will be available.
For more information call 410-742-4988 ext. 110.
Dr. Elizabeth Ragan is an Associate Professor and the Coordinator of the Anthropology program at Salisbury University. An archaeologist by training, her graduate work focused on Late Prehistoric and Early Medieval Europe (including a Master’s degree in Celtic Archaeology from Glasgow University), a period when belief systems were shifting from paganism to Christianity. The complex balance between adopting new ideas and practices and preserving old, deeply meaningful ones is a fundamental part of the way that human cultures change over time—today as much as centuries ago.