Halloween is a festivity typical of the month of October in which, according to Christianity, the end of summer is celebrated. This festivity is also known as “Night of the Witches” or “Night of the Eve of the Dead”.
This festival is international and is celebrated initially on October 31 of each year. It is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and, to a lesser extent, in Latin America and Spain.
Origin of Halloween
The roots are found in the Celtic people. This town celebrated Samhain. This began to be celebrated 300 years ago and they did it through a pagan party.
This tradition spread to the rest of the world thanks to the immigration to the United States by Irish Catholics. Generally this festivity is celebrated with parties and costumes, but its origin was not joyful and festive.
The character that this festivity had in its beginnings was that of religious and purifying rituals, since on this date it is said that the souls in pain come out and the witches performed their spells.
In these festivities, the members of the Celtic people dressed in the skins of sacrificed animals to ward off the demons that visited the town and so that the next day everything would return to normal.
After doing this, with the ashes and remains of the animals they sacrificed, they performed another rite to find out what their future would be in the following months. In addition to this, the "sabbath" was also celebrated where sorcerers offered gifts to Satan.
As it is celebrated?
Despite not being a celebrity celebrated worldwide, in the places where it is celebrated it happens with costume parties or settings with ghosts, witches, and even pumpkins decorated with faces.
In the case of the United States, there is a tradition of dressing up and going out to ask for sweets in each house. It is said that this tradition was born from a practice in Europe in the 9th century. It is currently considered a children's celebration.
In the United States, they also celebrate Halloween by decorating houses and gardens with ghosts, witches, the dead, and so on. It should be noted that the tourist spaces of this place also hold parties and costume contests for tourists.
Among other ways that the world has to celebrate Halloween is through different and traditional games such as biting the apple. This consists of taking with the teeth the apples that float in water.
Another theme that became very popular on this holiday are the so-called "Houses of Terror." Where the spaces of a large house are decorated and tours are carried out where the participants will be surprised by some dead and scary things.
What does Halloween mean?
Just as its festivity originates from ancient peoples, the word we use to know this festivity also has a meaning. “ Halloween ” is a shortening of the words “All Hallow's Eve”.
This word means "Halloween". This is because, in the Samhain celebrated by the Celts, they sought to welcome the ghosts of relatives and the cold season.
It is believed that on these days the deceased returned to be reunited with their relatives and their homes had to be decorated as a symbol of welcome. With the passage of time, Samhain was merging with other rituals of the Roman era.
Being a popular festivity, it has different popular symbols such as ghosts, pumpkins and witches. However, these are not the only symbols by which this holiday is recognized.
Among other symbols we can highlight cats, since they are considered a deity in ancient pagan cultures; the cat was used for rituals of satanic practices. The toad and the owl are also used as symbols.
In the case of the toad, it was believed to be a plague sent by God, and the Owl, it was believed to be a being of darkness; the witches used their sounds to drive away the darkness. Likewise, vampires, crescents and stars are symbols of Halloween .This is because the vampires were representatives of the demons, the moon and the stars for being used in the practice of magic and the masks because they show what is not really a person.