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Halloween: A Festival Beyond Fantasy

Halloween: A Festival Beyond Fantasy 4

Halloween

All of us love to hear the spooky stories, watching horror movies or visiting a creepy place. Why? Because these thrilling experiences induce fear that gives an adrenaline dose to the body that helps us to release our emotions and anxieties. So how about a festival that is meant to scare?  The second most spending holiday today celebrated  on 31 October, it’s “The Halloween”. Some people consider it as 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?

Samhain bonfire
Samhain bonfire

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 is time when all sort of dark and dread creatures mingle in the world of living, so they light up bonfires to replicate the Sun god and to 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 Roman invasion on 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 US and finally transformed from Samhain to Halloween, quite a long journey!

Why do we wear spooky costumes in Halloween?

Halloween tradition
Halloween tradition

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 the All Hallows Eve and people love it too as they enjoy dressing in different costumes, however now it is more of a fun than that of its original notion.

What is Trick-O-Treat?

Trick-O-Treat
Trick-O-Treat

In earlier time, the offering of some food and gifts were kept on the doors in order 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 treat. The reason to call it trick-O-treat is that to prevent tricks being played by the children the house owners provide them treat. This tradition improves harmony and social sense among the people also.

What are the Symbols of Halloween?

Jack-O-Lantern
Jack-O-Lantern

Orange and black are the colours associated with the Halloween, orange to represent harvest or autumn and black represents the darkness. The symbols of Halloween are spooky just like spiders, bats, scarecrows and witches to shiver down our spine. The most popular symbol among them is the Jack-O-Lantern, a lantern made from the hollow pumpkin. However, the very first jack-O-lantern was made of hollowed turnip.

First Jack-O-Lantern
First Jack-O-Lantern

The name Jack-O-Lantern was derived form an Irish story of Stingy Jack who tricked the Devil and took promise to spare his soul when he died. After living a miserable life when Jack died, he was not allowed to enter in the 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 turnip with him that he hollowed to place the ember and from than 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.

Overall, Halloween is a nice and interesting festival for every age group to enjoy. There are lot many things to do for you, so go out use your innovation and scare everyone.

 !.Happy Halloween.!

Adarsh Verma

Written by Adarsh Verma

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