Monday, October 31, 2005

# Posted 1:32 PM by Patrick Belton  

AN IMPORTANT CUSTOMER SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Oíche Shamhna shámh, agus Athbhlian faoi mhaise!

In traditional Ireland, Samhain was the harvest festival marking the end of one year and beginning of the next. The two years wouldn't fully align, though, so for a short bit, time would quite literally be out of joint (thus the Celtic origins of the phrase from Macbeth.) Thus faries would get lost, wander up around the world of men, and generally not know what they were about - so if you were kindly enough, you'd dress yourself up like a fairy and go about, so when they ran into you, they'd run straightaways back to the fairy world, and a big fright on them. Hence the original custom, which we here at OxBlog have always found much nicer than its contemporary descendant. So a very happy maith Oíche Shamhna ort, from OxBlog.

HORRIDLY INCONVENIENT REPORTERS UPDATE: Jeff Landaw from the Baltimore Sun kindly points out this oddly seems to be in Hamlet as well.
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