All About Halloween
It’s that time of the year and the festivity has been chiming its way into our lives, giving us a hope of breaking away from the chains of our mundane regular routines. To begin with, Halloween is just around the corner and even before you know it will be here, so what are you waiting for? Go ahead and read the list of things you need to know about Halloween. This is spooky but definitely a fun festival. People celebrate Halloween all around the world.
What does Halloween mean?
Our beloved Halloween hasn’t christened the same name, it actually was All Hallow’s Evening which was shortened gradually and finally ended up as Halloween. It is a contraction of All Hallow’s Evening. The Hallow here refers to saints who have departed. The other names It are Allhalloween, All Hallow’s Eve and All Hallow’s Evening.
When is Halloween celebrated?
Halloween is essentially celebrated on 31st October of each year in remembrance of all the departed souls. However, other cultures have their own specific dates and festivals to remember and pray for the departed souls.
What does Halloween signify?
Halloween is actually the very beginning of a three-day long celebration of Allhallowtide comprising of Halloween, All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day. During this time the departed souls are remembered and prayers are conducted for these souls which include martyrs, saints, and other dead people.
What is the origin of Halloween?
It is believed that Halloween has its roots in pagan or nature worship and was essentially derived from harvest festival called Samhain. Some also believe that Halloween could have its origin in the Roman festival of Pomona. These festivals are said to have been modified and Christianized to give the festival its unique essence. The influence of both these festivals can be very well observed in the kind of traditions that are followed in the celebrations till date.
How is Halloween celebrated?
Halloween essentially celebrates the departed souls and includes a list of traditions that are followed. From praying before the graves and lighting candles for the dead to ringing the church bell for the dead in purgatory to trick-or-treat to disguising as spooky characters to lighting jack-o-lantern outside homes all commemorate this spooky celebration. A lot of fun activities such as apple bobbing, divination games, fortune telling, tarot card reading, lighting bonfires and narrating horror stories form an integral part of the celebration.
What do these Halloween traditions signify?
Dressing up as famous spooky and horror characters from literature is a common practice on Halloween and it is believed to have started in Ireland where people dressed up in costumes and went door to door singing songs in exchange for food or treat. These disguises were mainly to done to impersonate the departed souls.
Lighting the Jack-o-lantern also has its origins in a story of the stingy Jack who tricked the Satan into a deal of never taking his soul. Since Jack wasn’t a very noble man, when he died he wasn’t allowed admittance in Heaven but since Satan was bound by his deal, Jack didn’t even enter Hell. Satan threw a blazing coal from hell towards Jack and he carved a turnip to make a lamp out of it. Since then it is believed that Jack’s soul is still in search of a resting place on earth and these Jack-o-Lanterns signify his quest for peace. These lanterns are mostly carved out of Pumpkins these days.
What do people feast on during Halloween?
Well, every festival has its own set of special menu to be cooked and served on a platter. Similarly, It has its own special gastronomic treats that are a part and parcel of the celebration. The specialties may vary from region to region but mostly comprise of some really yummy stuff such as The spooky Cake, Roasted Pumpkin seeds, Soul cakes, All sorts of candies (as treats), Roasted sweet corn, Pumpkin Pie, Candy apples, Caramel Apples, Barmbrack (an Irish fruit cake) etc.
Which countries celebrate Halloween?
Halloween started as a Western Christian feast whilst some other Eastern European countries already celebrated such a festival with different names. Gradually Its popularity spread to the rest of the world and today even Asian countries have started celebrating it with equal fervor. It is primarily celebrated in Europe, the USA, and Canada among many other countries and has started spreading its influence across the Asian countries of China, Japan, Singapore, Philippines, and India. Most of the cultures have their own designated dates to remember the departed souls, but the traditions are slowly catching up at the office gatherings or events as well as in social gatherings.
With all its spook quotient Halloween has become one of the most popular festivals of the recent times and with its growing popularity, a lot of other cultures have welcomed this festival into their lives. Apart from all the horror, the traditions, fun activities, and history of this strange but fun festival makes it all the more likable. So what are you waiting for? Go get your costumes ready, it is the time to spook the hell out of people. Happy Halloween!