The eve of the western Christian feast is celebrated in a number of countries as all hallows’ eve or the Halloween. The day has been marked as an important event in the lives of people of most of the Christian country as it is dedicated to the remembrance of only the dead people. The dead people that are remembered on the Halloween generally include in itself all the martyrs, saints and the holy spirits that departed faithfully. Halloween has been predominantly related to the Celtic rituals and their harvest festivals, in particular, it is actually can be traced down to the Gaelic festival Samhain. There are different Halloween ideas and celebrations which are followed differently by different people and we will talk about them later in this blog.
What is Halloween celebrated for?
The origin of Halloween has been a hot topic since the festival is quite around the corner and a lot of enthusiasm regarding the same has been observed in a number of countries. It is a widely held view that the Hallows’ eve has its roots implanted in the Gaelic festival Samhain which has been celebrated since the eighteenth century. Back in that time, the concept of hallows eve came in the picture with the Celtic festival Samhain which the Europeans use to celebrate by wearing costumes of the ghosts and lighting up the bonfire. The Celtics believed that on the eve of the all saints day; hallows eve all the dead people are transformed into ghosts. Hence, they use to keep food and drinks at their doorsteps and use to leave their house dressed in the form of ghosts so as to be mistaken as ghosts by the other ghosts in the vicinity.
Back in the eighth century, the 1st of November was celebrated as the all saints day after Pope Gregory III designated the day as the all saints day. The day depicted that the summers have finally come to an end and the 1st of November marked the initials of winter. Hence, the evening before the all saints was celebrated as the All Hallows Eve which later came to be known as the Halloween. With the course of time, as the days unfolded Halloween came much into the light and various Halloween ideas and Halloween activities started coming up. Hence, all of these events lead to an origin of the Hallows eve or the Halloween.
How is Halloween celebrated around the world?
The day of the dead; Halloween is celebrated in a majority of countries today with the same Halloween spirit and enthusiasm. The trick or treat, pumpkin carvings, dressing up as a ghost etc. are the most conventional ways to celebrate Halloween. The day, as mentioned above is dedicated to the dead people in remembrance of whom, the entire population of various countries, dress up and move out in the costumes of the ghosts, or the dead people. In certain areas, a parade of people dressed up like ghosts is also observed.
Mexico and Spain are already quite in the talks of the world for their Día de Los Muertos; the day of the dead. These countries have been observed to celebrate the day quite in the same way as that of the others. They come up with certain different Halloween costume ideas and dress up spookily like their ancestors that are long lost. The individuals in these countries are known to build certain private altars known as the “ofrendas” which are used as the presents or the gifts. The ofrendas might be the sugar skulls or the tequilas which they prepare in order to present as gifts to the dead.
The countries of Scotland and Ireland which are the initial pioneers celebrating Samhain, which is also the New Year’s Eve according to the Celtics. In parts of UK, including Scotland, the festival is still celebrated and various activities included in the festival are the lighting up of the bonfire, fortune-telling etc. Londonderry is the place where the largest carnival and parade of hallows eve are celebrated. The carnival is given the name of the banks of the Foyle which includes an extravagantly grand parade along with some of the haunted house activities in order to celebrate the day of the dead.
In Italy, hallows eve is celebrated as the all souls day and is looked up to as a religious day. The day is celebrated quite in the same way and by remembering their long-lost loved ones. The day also calls for carving on the pumpkins, which the locals called as the “Concas de Martu” meaning heads of the dead.
Trick or treat?
It is the most primitive ritual associated with the Hallows eve; this includes children moving from door to door asking trick or treat? The house owner is supposed to treat the children with some candies or something to eat or else the children will trick the house owner with some of their mischievous tricks or activities. Most of the people keep the treat for the children handy while some other keep them hanging on their doors allowing the children to freely take them. The activity is predominantly interesting for the kids, while grown-ups enjoy it too by treating the little ones. Also, the children involved in the activity of trick or treat are supposed to dress up like the ghosts or the ancestors. Sometimes, instead of the treat money is also offered to the children.
In a nutshell, the Hallows eve or the Halloween is a day dedicated to all the people that are dead. Most commonly hallows eve is celebrated on the 31st of October every year. The day includes a number of activities like trick or treats, carving of the pumpkin etc. People dress up like ghosts and the dead people in order to remember them and acknowledge them. The day is also a government holiday in most of the countries.