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Blog EntryHallowJun 6, '10 4:20 AM
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hallow is a word usually used as a verb, meaning "to make holy or sacred, to sanctify or consecrate, to venerate".[1] The adjective form hallowed, as used in The Lord's Prayer, means holy, consecrated, sacred, or revered.[2]


[edit] Etymology

The noun is from the Old English adjective hálig, nominalized as se hálga "the holy man". The Gothic word for "holy" is either hailags or weihaba, weihs. "To hold as holy" or "to become holy" is weihnan, "to make holy, to sanctify" is weihan. Holiness or sanctification is weihia. Old English like Gothic had a second term of similar meaning, weoh "holy", with a substantive wih or wig, Old High German wih or wihi (Middle High German wîhe, Modern German Weihe). The Nordendorf fibula has wigiþonar, interpreted as wigi-þonar "holy Donar" or "sacred to Donar". Old Norse vé is a type of shrine. The weihs group is cognate to Latin victima, an animal dedicated to the gods and destined to be sacrificed.

[edit] In current usage

In modern English usage, the noun hallow appears mostly in compounds in Halloween and Hallowmas. Halloween (or Hallowe'en) is a shortened form of All Hallow Even, meaning "All Hallow's Eve" or "All Saints' Eve".[3] Hallowmas, the day after Halloween, is shortened from Hallow's mass, and is also known as "All Hallow's Day" or "All Saints' Day".[4]

Hallows can refer to saints, the relics (including remains) of the saints, the relics of gods, or shrines in which relics are kept.[5][6] Since the essence of these saints or gods were often considered present at their shrines and in their relics, hallows came to refer to the saints or gods themselves, rather than just their relics or shrines. Because of these various usage possibilities, the hallowed (sacred) hallows (relics) of a hallowed (holy) hallow (saint) might be hallowed (venerated) in a hallowed (consecrated) hallow (shrine).

[edit] In legend

Some important and powerful objects in legends could be referred to as "hallows" because of their function and symbolism.[7] The Tuatha de Danaan in Ireland possessed the Four Treasures of Ireland which could be interpreted as "hallows": the Spear of Lugh, Stone of Fal, the Sword of Light of Nuada, and The Dagda's Cauldron.

In the modern period, some neo-pagans believe that the four suits in the Rider-Waite Tarot cards deck (swords, wands, pentacles and cups), which are also a representation of the four classical elements of air, fire, earth and water, are also hallows.

Coronation ceremonies for monarchs still invokes four ritual objects, now represented as the sceptre, sword, ampulla of oil, and crown. Similar objects also appear in Arthurian legends, where the Fisher King is the guardian of four "hallows" representing the four elements: a dish (earth), Arthur's sword Excalibur (Fire), the Holy Lance or spear, baton, or a magic wand (air), and the Holy Grail (water).[5]

Earlier Welsh tradition, as recorded in Trioedd Ynys Prydain, also refers to Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain. Symbolically, these could also be interpreted as "hallows", although they are not actually described as such in the medieval Welsh texts.

[edit] In literature

[edit] J. R. R. Tolkien

In J. R. R. Tolkien's tale The Lord of the Rings, the kings and stewards of Gondor were laid to rest in tombs in "the Hallows" of Rath Dínen (the Silent Street) in the city of Minas Tirith as described in The Return of the King.[8]

[edit] J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. The Deathly Hallows refer to three legendary magical objects mentioned in a fairy tale: the Elder Wand, which could defeat all others in battle, the Resurrection Stone, which could bring back the souls of the deceased, and the Cloak of Invisibility, which could hide the wearer from most forms of detection and shield them from many magic spells.[9] Together the objects were said to make their owner a "Master of Death".[HP7]

[edit] References

  1. ^ "". Lexico Publishing Group, LLC.. 2007-01-15. Retrieved 2007-01-23.
  2. ^ Webster's Collegiate Dictionary entry for hallowed
  3. ^ Webster's Collegiate Dictionary entry for Halloween
  4. ^ Webster's Collegiate Dictionary entry for Hallowmas
  5. ^ a b "The Fisher King". University of Idaho. April 1999. Retrieved 2007-01-23.
  6. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press.
  7. ^ "Arthurian A-ZZ". Mystical WWW. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
  8. ^ J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book V ch. 4, 7, and 8, and Book VI ch. 5 and 6; Allen & Unwin, Houghton Mifflin, and Random House's Del Rey Books and Ballantine Books editions.
  9. ^ Alastor Moody's magical eye and the homenum revelio spell could overcome the cloak's stealth.[HP4] Moreover, Dementors used people's emotions to perceive their location, so the cloak was useless against them.[HP3]

[edit] See also

This page was last modified on 7 March 2010 at 22:52.

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