Come November and December and it is the time for festivity, celebrations and enjoyment. For it is the time for celebrating Halloween and Christmas.
Halloween or All Hallows Evening is a celebration held every year in many countries across the world. This is the beginning of the All Hallow tide which is the time dedicated to remembering the dead. This reveres the saints, the departed souls, the martyrs and uses the theme of humour to be able to understand the power of death.
What do we do while celebrating Halloween?
Typical Halloween activities include disguising and creating a new you. One attends costume parties and decorates and carves pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns. Celebrations typically have bonfires, visiting haunted houses and playing pranks in general. People tell scary stories to each other and also watch horror films during Halloween.
Christians in some parts of the world attend church services and light candles on the graves of the dead. Many of them abstain from meat and eat vegetarian foods on this day. So eating apples, cider, potato pancakes and soul cakes are common.
Meaning of Celebrating Halloween
Halloween means hallowed evening or holy evening. The word “eve” is referred to as e’een or een.
In Ireland people also bake a barmbrack or an Irish bread which resembles a fruitcake, and a coin and charm are kept inside the cake. The person who finds the coin or charm gets true love in the coming year.
Foods related to Halloween
In Ireland Barmbrack, Bonfire toffee in Great Britain, candy apples and pumpkins in North America, peanuts or monkey nuts in Ireland and Scotland, caramel corn, candy shaped like bats, worms, skulls, roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted sweet corn, and cakes.
Origin of Halloween
The origin of this festival goes back to the time of the Celtics of Samhain when this day spelt the end of the summer season and harvest time and the beginning of winter. It was usually related to death as the Celts believed that the day before the New Year there was a boundary between the living and the dead. So on October 31 it was believed that the ghosts of the dead came back to earth and damaged the c crops. So the celebration was to pacify these ghosts and pray for a better world.
The American Halloween has a tradition of trick or treating. This comes from the times when the poor citizens would beg for food and pray for the dead in the families. They used to get pastries or soul cakes in return. This practice is observed in Halloween.
Why Do We Dress For Celebrating Halloween
Food supplies were less in olden days during this time so people used to go out in disguise as they felt that the ghosts could haunt them. They did not want to be recognized by these ghosts so they used to wear disguised costumes thus starting the trend of weird dressing during Halloween. Bowls of food are kept outside houses even today to appease the ghosts who would come in search of food.
Superstitions surrounding Halloween
- Leaving treats on the doorsteps.
- Not to walk under ladders as there could be witches roaming around.
- Not to break mirrors as they signify ill luck.
- Not to step on cracks in the road.
- Not to spill salt.
- Burying rings in potatoes and apples.
Halloween is a time to pray for the dead and to think of the better things that could happen in the world. Celebrating Halloween is a time to disguise ones real self and spend time with the world.