Halloween is celebrated by people of all faiths and none. On the 31st of October, people all over the world observe this holiday. Despite the fact that Halloween is celebrated in many forms in countries all over the world. All Hallows’ Day or All Saints’ Day are the two possible church holidays. Costumes and trick-or-treating are hallmarks of the secular festival, as are carnival-style activities with eerie aspects such as ghosts.
Halloween’s origins can be traced back to pagan customs, despite popular belief that Christian festivals inspired the holiday initially. During these celebrations, gods of fruits, such as the Roman Pomona, were frequently revered. It is possible that other celebrations such as Parentalia’s festival, paid tribute to the departed.
The Celtic celebration of Samhain, which celebrated the end of summer and the harvest, had a significant impact. The lighting of bonfires was common, especially for people transporting animals from the farms or highlands for winter slaughter. According to Celtic mythology, the underworld’s gate was opened on this day, allowing ghosts to enter. They’d throw a party and invite their departed relatives, who were said to come back to visit on this day. Also, evil spirits made their way to the Earth’s surface. Costumes would be worn by the public in an attempt to frighten away these ghosts. Trick-or-treating began as a variation on this tradition, where children dressed up and went door-to-door collecting food for a Halloween feast.
A number of myths were linked to Samhain because of the belief that the underworld had opened up: the remains of people who had died since the previous Halloween would come to life and possess the living. The reason for this is that many people believe that putting out a fire or intentionally making their house cold can keep ghosts away.
Symbols of the Halloween Season
In order to illuminate dark passages at night and ward off the presence of these nefarious spirits, carvers constructed Jack-o-lanterns. According to tradition, a young kid named Jack once walked through town carrying a pumpkin he’d used to catch the devil. Upon Jack’s release, the devil casts a curse on him, and he is sentenced to an eternity in the Lake of Fire. The gates of hell will be opened on Halloween night, and Jack will be free to wreak havoc on the town. The purpose of the Jack-o-Lanterns was to scare Jack away by making him believe it contained the devil.
The Christian holiday of Halloween also has characteristics that are included into the holiday. There’s a reason for the moniker; on All Hallows Eve, Christians would pay respect to those who had died and the saints. Some people ring bells to remember those in purgatory on this Holy Day of Obligation. In many cases, Halloween customs include elements of several religions and pagan cultures. During the 19th century, an influx of Irish and Scottish immigrants brought the holiday to the United States. Haunted homes, skeletons, and other creatures all have their origins in horror literature and gothic art. Halloween practises and decorations draw heavily from these sources.
There may also be celebrations in the form of gatherings of the local community. New York City’s Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of Ghouls are held in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. After a screening of a horror film, the parade takes place, complete with many people dressed to the nines.
Trick-or-Treating is a Halloween tradition in which youngsters don costumes and ring doorbells to solicit sweets from their neighbours. They’ll say, “Trick or treat?” when the trick-or-treat door is opened. Often, this is followed by “if you don’t care about me, I’ll pull down your panties!” Give me something to eat! Some youngsters may choose to collect sweets for UNICEF coin boxes, which allow donors to put spare change while watching the child eat it. These events have raised about $118 million for UNICEF since their inception in 1952.
When it comes to Halloween, it’s not uncommon for kids to dress up as a witch or a ghost. Instead of dressing as themselves, they could dress as a fictitious or historical character they look up to. Instead of anything with a dark tone, kids can opt to imitate historical personalities like Batman or Abraham Lincoln. On Halloween, many people, particularly youngsters, will listen to ghost stories. In 856 CE, a poltergeist was reported for the first time in Germany. A Roman statesman named Pliny the Younger was well-known for including ghost stories in his correspondence.
In keeping with the festival theme, carnival-style games were organised, many of which had pagan origins. Instead of tossing peels over your shoulder, participants bobbed for apples. Activities involving divination or ghost hunting are included here. Those who are intrigued by this topic may organise a séance or go on a ghost hunt. Hayrides, corn mazes, and pumpkin carving are all classic fall activities. Carving pumpkins can be as simple as utilising templates or as complex as commissioning a custom design from a professional pumpkin carver.
Candied apples and other snacks are popular, and many people like making and eating them. Apples are picked just in time for the spooky holiday. Those in attendance, particularly Irish-Americans, may partake in a fruit cake with a coin hidden inside. Whoever was lucky enough to get the coin piece would be blessed for the rest of the year.
Chinese New Year’s Eve Celebrations Around the World
During the Chinese New Year, people celebrate Yue Lan, the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. Instead of hiding and yue landisguising themselves to ward off evil spirits, the Chinese give them presents to make them feel comfortable enough to retreat.
In Ireland, people celebrate Irish Halloween, also known as Samhain Night. Ireland will celebrate Samhain by lighting bonfires, as they have done for centuries. Turnips, candles, and carved pumpkins will be used by observers to deck out their homes for the holiday. Many young people get up to mischief and many celebrate with fireworks despite them being outlawed on Halloween, so emergency services have their busiest day of the year.
The Scots take great pride in their Samhain-inspired Halloween celebrations, which include bonfires lit in honour of the holiday. Some people may notice occult rituals, such as divination. To eat a slice of pastry suspended on a thread, a person must first be blindfolded in a rite known as dooking.
During the Bon Festival, the Japanese pay homage to their ancestors and other deceased loved ones. Grave cleaning and visiting are common activities to mark the occasion. In order to symbolise the return of the dead to the underworld, they’ll set lanterns alight and let them drift down rivers.
On Halloween, Romanians commemorate the “Dracula” storey. They thought he visited the towns on a regular basis, lingering because he was drawn to the area because of the history of the witch hunts.