All of us love to hear spooky stories, watch horror movies or visit a creepy place. Why? Because these thrilling experiences induce fear that gives an adrenaline dose to the body that helps us release our emotions and anxieties. So how about a festival that is meant to scare us? The second most exciting and indulging holiday today is celebrated on 31 October, it’s “The Halloween”. Some people consider it the time of ghost, goblins, and evil spirits, while some link it with the children going door-to-door asking for candies. However, many of us are still unaware of the origin, history and traditions associated with it. Let us discover some interesting trivia about this fascinating holiday.
From where it originated?
Halloween is one of the oldest holidays dated 2000 years ago, having its roots in the Celtic festival called Samhain, a day honouring the dead. It was an important feast marking the end of summer and harvest season. The Celtics believed it to be the time when all sorts of dark and dread creatures mingle in the world of the living, so they light up bonfires to replicate the Sun god and keep the soul and spirits away from them.
History and Expansion
The Catholic Church in Europe believed the Samhain as a pagan holiday and tried to wipe it out by assigning 1 November as ‘All Saint Day’, a day to commemorate every Christian saint but eventually failed to convert the beliefs of Celts. With the Roman invasion of Britain, Samhain merged with the Roman festivals Poloma and Feralia. However, the festival actually got its original form when the immigrants from Ireland came to America. With Irish traditions, this festival became popular in the US and finally transformed from Samhain to Halloween, quite a long journey!
Why do we wear spooky costumes on Halloween?
With the ghosts and spirits all around, you’ll never want to be recognized by them, so the Celtic used to wear masks and costumes to blend themselves among the dark entities. This belief has become a core tradition of All Halloween Eve. People love it too, as they enjoy dressing in different costumes; however, it is now more about fun than hiding away from the dark entities.
What is Trick-O-Treat?
In an earlier time, the offering of some food and gifts was kept on the doors to pacify the spirits roaming in the streets. This tradition has now evolved as Trick-O-Treat; children dressed up in costumes walk door-to-door asking for a treat. The reason to call it trick-O-treat is to prevent tricks from being played by the children, and the house owners provide them with a treat. This tradition improves harmony and creates a social sense of belongingness among the people.
What are the Symbols of Halloween?
Orange and black are the colours associated with Halloween, orange represents harvest or autumn, and black represents darkness. Halloween symbols are spooky, like spiders, bats, scarecrows and witches that brings a shiver down our spine. The most popular symbol among them is the Jack-O-Lantern, a lantern made from a hollow pumpkin. However, the very first jack-O-lantern was made of hollowed turnip.
The name Jack-O-Lantern was derived from an Irish story of Stingy Jack, who tricked the Devil and took a promise to spare his soul when he died. After living a miserable life, when Jack died, he was not allowed to enter heaven, and as per the promise Devil also debarred his entry to hell. Ultimately Jack was left to wander in the world between Heaven and Hell, though Devil gave him an ember from Hell to light his way. He had a turnip with him that he hollowed to place the ember, and from then onwards, he is roaming in the world with his ‘Jack-O-Lantern’.The purpose of these lanterns is to guide the spirits on their way back to the underworld. Some say that Jack-O-Lantern is used to scare away the evil spirits and the Stingy Jack from their house.
Halloween is an interesting festival for every age group to enjoy. There are many things to do for you, so go out, use your innovation and scare everyone.