What is Halloween?
Halloween is celebrated in many countries around the world on 31st October every year. It falls a day before All Saints Day which is celebrated on 1st November. Both the festivals were started by Christianity. It is an ancient festival that started in Ireland & Scotland, in the first place.
Today, Halloween has a celebratory spirit with the ‘Trick or Treat’, Jack-o’-lanterns, candies, haunted houses, etc. As a result, Halloween is equally popular amongst children and adults as everyone looks forward to Halloween costume parties, quirky food & unlimited candies. Halloween is an important part of American pop culture today. It first came to the U.S. only in the 1800s and has changed from a religious day to a fun-filled holiday over the decades.
The Rich History of Halloween:
Halloween started with Samhain, which is more than 2000 years old. The Celtic people of Europe celebrated Samhain as the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. The wall between the alive and dead became thin during this time. Due to this, the communication between the departed souls and living people was clear – as per some faiths.
During this time, predicting the future was easier, due to the open window between humans and spirits. People did various things like lighting bonfires, wearing animal skin masks to ward off evil spirits. Often, people would wear masks to prevent the spirits roaming around from recognizing them. The trend of scary costumes during Halloween may have its origin from here.
Halloween also gets its name from All Saints Day which falls on 1st November every year. The night before All Saints Day ( the Celtic Samhain festival) was called All-Hallows Eve and eventually became Halloween. Next to All Saints Day is All Souls Day which is a day to pray for departed souls. People visit the crematory and offer flowers and prayers to their departed loved ones.
Halloween and Matchmaking:
In ancient times, Halloween had a lot of rituals around matchmaking. Some of the rituals were simple, fun and others were spooky.
- The first person to find a chestnut in the forest on Halloween night would be the first one to get hitched.
- Ladies roasted hazelnuts in fire marking each hazelnut for each of their love interests. Eventually, the Hazelnut that burnt to ashes instead of popping was the perfect match for the lady.
- Some cultures consider Apples a sign of fertility. A young woman would throw apple peels over her shoulder. These peels that fell on the floor were believed to make the initials of her future husband.
- Women looking for a match gathered and threw apples in a tub of water after marking them. After this, men would compete to grab one apple from the tub. The man who had the apple marked by the woman was her future husband.
- Some women would hide a ring in the middle of food and the first man to find the right was the one for her.
- Some of the rituals were spooky. On the night of Halloween, a woman would look at her reflection in the mirror in a dark room using a candle. The woman can see the reflection of her future husband over her shoulder, as per the ritual.
These rituals have gone away with time. But, it would be fun to try one of these this Halloween, wouldn’t it?
Bats and Cats during Halloween:
Bats and Black Cats are popular images for Halloween. As these are often, in general, associated with bad luck, death, and misfortune.
Bats are night creatures. The night is often associated with darkness and fear. As a result, Bats are associated with death, disease, and bad luck. During ancient times when bonfires were lit to observe Halloween, the bats gather to get an easy dinner of bugs. Also, some species of bats migrate to the Northern United States during winters hence they can be seen in the sky in large numbers.
After 2020, Bats have become an all-new level of scare and will stick around (rather hang around) to the Halloween brand for the next 100 years.
Black cats look scary and mysterious. Black cats are believed to be associated with witchcraft and magic by some religions. Also, they are said to be the messengers of evil spirits because of which they are not the most popular choice in general.
In modern times though, black cats have become props for Halloween costumes. People often abandon these cats after Halloween.
Many versions of Trick or Treat:
Guising from Scotland, Mumming from England, ‘Help the Halloween party” in UK & Ireland, Pangangaluluwa in the Philippines are the various versions of trick and treating. Further, the basic act of going around houses asking for food/candies remains the same. The thought behind these is different in each version.
Mumming often involved the enactment of a play or dance by a group of people. Hence involved entertainment.
Pangagaluluwa involved children and adults going around the houses and singing in exchange for money or food.
Before ‘Trick or Treat’ became popular, children around Ireland and the UK used to sing, ‘Help the Halloween Party’.
Today, people decorate their homes with pumpkin lanterns and all sorts of spooky Halloween decorations. Additionally, Halloween enthusiasts collect different types of candies to give out for Trick or Treat. Trick or Treating is very popular now and the regional variations seem to be lost.
Especially after the depiction of the Halloween celebrations in many popular movies (like ET) and TV series.
The United States & Halloween:
Halloween came to the U. S. in the 19 century. Ireland and Scotland celebrated Halloween before the United States. During the potato famine in Ireland, around 2 Million Irish people migrated to the U.S. and brought Halloween with them.
Today Halloween is the second most popular festival after Christmas. The United States has a huge role to play in popularizing Halloween not only within the country but also making it pop culture. People in many Asian and African countries today go around ‘Trick or Treating’ on Halloween night.
Halloween Blue Moon:
In 2020, Halloween night coincided with a Blue moon. The world was excited to witness the sky and see the Halloween Blue Moon. A Blue moon is when a full moon appears for the second time in the same month. A Halloween blue moon is extremely rare. The last Halloween Blue Moon appeared in 1944.
Halloween – The Holiday:
Halloween has its roots in spirituality, mysticism and darkness. But, today, it is more of an American holiday. Likewise, the focus today is much more on the fun and celebratory side of Halloween. Though it is not a bank holiday across the U.S.
It is a festival where adults explore their spooky sides as much as children. People engage in designing customized costumes. Schools celebrate Halloween in a big way, making it massy. The candies, the Halloween costumes, the animated Halloween movies, and Halloween songs for children are all very popular and entertaining.
Especially, as children love Halloween, there are many Halloween songs for children too to make the party more fun.
Additionally, young adults also use Halloween parties to get potential dates. The Halloween costume is their wingman. As it is an expression of creativity, people who are dressed in a similar way choose to date each other.
Further, let’s go Halloweening:
|Top 5 Animated Halloween Movies||HALLOWEENTOWN|
The Adam’s Family
Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
|Top 5 Halloween Costumes||Witch|
|Top 5 Halloween Candies||Corn Candy|
Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups
Halloween DIY Decoration:
Eyes Eyes Everywhere:
Give a spooky look to your living room and immerse yourself in the spirit of Halloween. Scare your guests with bloodshot eyes looking at them from every corner. While the name sounds fancy, this is equally easy.
All you need is balls of different sizes, white spray paint, red paint, bowls to make circles, paintbrush, and some time.
- First, collect all the balls available at home with you
- Secondly, clean the balls thoroughly with a clean cloth and sandpaper
- Additionally, take the white spray paint and paint the ball thoroughly
- Further, take a black circle using a bowl, fill the circle with black paint
- Finally, make nerves using red paint using a paintbrush
Go crazy with the placement of eyeballs. Further, make sure to place in corners where the guest may not be expecting, like stuffing them in the corner of your couch. Placing them in the washroom coupled with flickering lights will give additional spook too.
Halloween 2021 is on 31st October, Sunday. So, fill up your stock of candy and ‘Trick or Treating’ away to glory!
Orange and Black are Halloween colors.
Most people use Apples and Pumpkins to make different Halloween treats as it is also the Harvest season for these.
Generally, in Ireland & Scotland, people used Beets and Turnips to make Halloween lanterns. America has an abundance of Pumpkins, as a result of which these were used during Halloween for making lanterns.
In the year 2020, the United States spent around $8 Billion on Halloween.
Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
Spotting a spider on Halloween night means one of your loved ones from heaven is looking out for you.
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