01 November 2014

Hallowmas


Today, it appears, is Hallowmas, or All Saints’ Day, day 2 in the Tripartite celebration that is Allhallowtide, or more simply, the Hallowmas Season. It’s a time for remembering the dead, perhaps envying them. Conjuring the internet genii from the vasty deep I learn that hallow is one of our Germanic words for what our Latin side might term sacred. It comes from Old English halgian, which in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *haila-ga- (the * means that it is a reconstructed word, not actually found as a fossil entombed some inscription or folio somewhere). And in turn this came from the Proto-Indo-European *kailo-, meaning apparently something like boding well or the like. A hallow (noun) is a hallowed person, somebody sanctified, a saint. Hallowmas remembers the hallows, the saints, all of them—hence the name All Saints’ Day. It’s followed by All Souls Day.
This filler entry has been brought to you by Stage Fright, Writer’s Block, and the number 4.

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