What Is Halloween And How Is It Celebrated?7 Min Read

Halloween also known as All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a celebration observed in a number of countries, when is Halloween  celebrated?,

Well it’s on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day.

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It’s dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.

So, how did it start?

It’s widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, Most believe Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday.

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How Is Halloween Celebrated?

Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into lanterns, lighting bonfires, playing pranks, visiting haunted buildings specially decorated for the occasion, telling scary stories, and also some people like watching horror films.

In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances include  attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead At some places Christians abstain from meat on All Hallows’ Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes and other vegetarian meals for this occasion.

On this Occasion people like to send each other cards and greetings and make various posters for their school and business ventures to attract people and to tell them about their Halloween related products,

Here is one such website which i like and where you can see a few Halloween related designs and also a lot more which will please the eyes and stimulate the brain!

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Halloween is growing in popularity exponentially.

Americans spend thousands of dollars on Halloween, making it a huge  commercial holiday.

It triggers a huge amount of candy sales in many countries specially the  United States.

What Makes Halloween Or October 31 So Popular?

The  mystery, the candy? or the new costume?

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It’s believed that during the night of Halloween, demons, witches, and evil spirits freely roam the earth with joy to happy since its their season now,  the long nights and early dark of the winter months.

The demons have fun torturing poor mortals that night, frightening, harming, and even playing all kinds of mean tricks on them.

The only way, for humans to escape the the demons was to offer them things they liked, especially fancy foods and sweets.

Or,  a human could disguise himself as one of them by wearing costumes and join in their roaming.

In this way they would recognise the human as a demon or witch and not bother him/her.

The most popular mode of celebration, is handing out candy.

Some people decorate, and some dress up in costumes and masks.

Halloween seems to be associated with Pumpkins, hay bales, apples and other signs of the harvest.

Halloween colors, like orange, yellow and black, are basically the colors of changing leaves and darkening skies.

An Irish legend tells of a trickster whose name was Jack, who outsmarted the devil many times in life.

In death, God refused to let Jack into heaven, and the devil refused to let him into hell.

According to the tale, Jack was turned away from hell with only a burning coal to light his path, which Jack promptly put into a carved turnip to make a lantern.

Pumpkins are native to North America, so when Irish immigrants brought their traditions over, they adapted: Out with the turnips, in with the orange gourds.

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Candy is associated with Halloween as trick-or-treat item .

Trick-or-treating wasn’t a popular tradition, but door-to-door encounters were.

Poor people would knock on the doors of the rich, and offer to say prayers for the  recently departed souls in return for food and drink.

As per belief of that time people could actually pray their deceased loved ones into heaven, so any extra prayers was welcomed.

In 50s in America, trick-or-treating became a way for young people to have fun and steer clear of trouble on Halloween.

The earliest trick-or-treaters were likely to find things like nuts, cookies and coins in their bags.

In the 1950s, though, candy companies saw this as a great business opportunity and started to make wrapped goodies for the Halloween crowd.

Costumes are part of a fall festivals in which main attractions were masks and strange costumes.

Modern Halloween costumes seem to have been affected  from this tradition of celebrating with masks and Role playing.

Like trick-or-treating, being a which or ghoul etc.

Halloween focused on the supernatural, whether fairies and imps or the spirits of the dead.

This concept was started by The film Dracula whose character the count dracula was created by Bram Stoker in his  1897 novel “Dracula,”

It’s about a bloodsucking count and his bug-eating buddy Renfield.

This concept leads us to our present vampire mythology, such as the aversion to garlic and the importance of graveyard dirt for getting one’s beauty rest.

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Ghost

Return of the dead is a topic which is prevalent all over the world in almost all cultures.

Some Buddhists celebrate Ghost Festival, during August month, it’s believed that during this time dead can move among the living.

In ancient Egypt, a ghost of a mummy complains (in a pottery inscription) that he is alone in the dark.

Perhaps one of the most universal ghost tales is that of the vanishing hitchhiker: a person picked up by a well-meaning stranger who then disappears before they reach their destination.

Invariably, the driver later learns that their mysterious passenger has been long dead.

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In this concept a human can  shape shift into a wolf , this idea dates back to at least ancient Greece, when it was believed that the affliction was caused by eating a mixture of human and wolf meat.

It’s believed presently that these transformations usually involve the bite of another werewolf, which makes this theory similar to vampires.

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Zombies myth originates from Haitian folklore.

According to myth, the witches would poison a person with a substance that would make them look like dead.

After the funeral, the witch would bring out the body from the grave.

The person, then would forever be a slave of the witch.

The zombies theory was accepted by  American pop culture in 1968, when George Romero released “Night of the Living Dead”

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The idea of Frankenstein was given by Mary shelley,

It was a monster stitched together from dead bodies and reanimated with electricity.

Mary  published the book at the age of 20.

The original Frankenstein’s monster is huge, intelligent and philosophical.

Later in 1931 there was a  movie “Frankenstein,” in which Boris Karloff played the part of Frankenstein.

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The Mummy

The Halloween mummy comes from: Egypt.

Many other cultures also practiced mummification but basically mummy is mostly the idea of Egyptians.

In 1932, Boris Karloff starred as the mummy in the film “The Mummy”

It was a well known and much watched movie, very popular with young generation.

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Clown 

In last few years this new costume character has come up – the creepy clown.

There have been reports of people dressed as clowns who were terrorising kids.

For instance, in South Carolina, there were reports of a clown trying to lure children into the woods.

Creepiest clown of them was shown in the movie called IT.. the clown in the movie terrorises kids with their own phobias.

The wide-grinned Clown characters may create unease because their face paint doesn’t show real expressions!

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So, Let’s enjoy Halloween,

Hand out some candy, get into some costumes and have fun on this much liked festival!

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