What Is Halloween

what-is-halloweenHalloween is celebrated on October 1, right before All Saint’s Day with excitement and fun fare because of costume parties and fun activities. It is celebrated with family, friends, associates, or co-workers. But sometimes, some community have special events to make Halloween even more fun for both adults and kids.

In many countries, parties and events usually planned on October 31 or before and after this date. Companies sponsor events, adults hold costume parties while families in large and small communities have a trick or treating. Houses and commercial establishments decorated with scary decors and paintings. Watching horror films is also very popular amongst adults and teenagers while a lot of children fancies wearing costumes.

halloween-trick-or-treatIn fact, every Halloween, many children all over the world dress up in scary and cute costumes and visit their neighbor homes to play trick or treat. It is a fun and friendly games that children play during Halloween. When they go out for trick or treating, they visit every home and at every house, they ask for sweets, small gifts, or snacks. Of course, families in the neighborhood have prepared a bowl of sweets or small presents for children who will knock, on their door, to avoid disappointing them. Besides, when children visit a home, and there are no tokens or sweets, they threaten to do tricks to the owners or the house occupants, as part of the game.

Furthermore, Halloween is even more fun because a lot of families turn their homes into graveyards, or haunted houses. Those short on a budget still try to keep the Halloween spirit alive by decorating their gardens and homes with popular Halloween decors such as carve lanterns, witches and other decors. Anyway, wherever you, whether you are in America, Australia, Canada, Europe, and Asia, keep in mind that Halloween is an annual festival but not an official holiday.

Yes! It is a big event yearly, but even with all the parties and many establishments promoting Halloween, businesses and government offices are open as usual and life as we know it goes on as usual, except of course when you are hosting a party then you will not do your usual routine. Nevertheless, October 1 is a regular day, just made more fun, scary, and exciting for all people.

What is Halloween

Halloween also known as “All Hallows Eve,” is an annual celebration observed on October 1 in many countries, especially in the western world wherein Christian celebrates All Saints Day. Halloween is the time of the year when costumes are popular also when kids get to go out to frighten, threaten, and demand sweets or small gifts from their neighbors.

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Halloween Meaning

Are you wondering about what does Halloween mean? Halloween is  the abbreviation of “All Hallows Even”, which simply means the day before “All Hallows Day” or more popularly known as All Saints Day.

All Saints Day is an occasion held on November 1, a catholic holiday remembering the Christian saints and martyrs.

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Origin of Halloween

Halloween, according to the many Europeans customs. They believe that it is easier to make contact with spirits on the eve before All Saint’s Day and the Irish and Scottish immigrants brought this belief and the holiday to the United States.

Origin-of-HalloweenHalloween commercialization started in 1900s, when paper decorations and postcards were produced. The Halloween costumes, on the other hand, appeared in the 1930s while trick-or-treat started in the ‘50s. Today, Halloween is a profitable season for companies producing scary decors, costumes, and candies.

Anyway, back to the Halloween origins, this season generated controversy and attention because it falls on October 31, and history shows that this is the precursor to the Christian holiday, the one they intended to celebrate, the All-Saint’s Day, which falls on November 1. By the way, All Saints Day first introduced in the year 609 A.D and initially celebrated in May instead of November.

As I have said earlier, All Saints Day first introduced 600 years ago by the Catholic Church to counter the honoring of the dead by the druid. You see, Druids and Romans both worshiped several gods. Pomona the goddess of fruit trees is one god that the Romans worshipped, and October 31 is the day they honor the goddess with a special feast.

The druids, on the other hand, believe that the wicked spirit or souls are powerful. In order to appease the damned, a Celtic priest in Britain started honoring Samhain, the lord of the dead. The Druids chose the evening of October 31, the day before November 1, as the day of sacrifice, a day that they can ask for protection against the condemned spirits, strange ghosts, evil fairies, witches and elves that came out to hurt people.

At the same time, the Catholic Church decided that it is about time to make changes from pagan to Christianity. And to make the transformation easier, and entice new converts the church decided to adopt the pagan feast of honoring the dead, that from there on the feast becomes a Christian tradition. So, instead of honoring the heathen gods, the people now pray for the dead saints and they call the celebration “All Saints Day” with the mass on that day called “Alhallowmass.” As time pass, the evening prior to November 1 celebration was named “All Hallowed Evening” then abbreviated to “Halloween.” Unfortunately, the effort of the church to turn the pagans old traditions to holy evening fail, as the evening before All Saints Day is anything but holy when you consider the myths, practices and what people thinks about Halloween today.

Halloween Customs

Halloween celebrations differ according to where you live. In America, Europe, and Western countries, it is a special day and full of excitement. There are costume parties, trick-or treat and activities that promote the special holiday. Many people dress up in animal, ghosts, witches guise and turn their homes into a haunted place, a graveyard, or ghoulish looking.

Many establishments sponsor hosting costumes parades even schools promote Halloween by holding parties or events on this day or before. Halloween themed contest, games and parties, are also very popular and observe with gusto. That’s why, even countries in Asia like the Philippines has been celebrating Halloween as well, for a long time but not as glitzy as the west and European does.

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Halloween Facts

  • Halloween is celebrated annually on October 31.
  • Halloween is one of the oldest celebrations as people all over the world celebrate it for over 2000 years or to the time of the Celtics living in Britain.
  • Halloween has several names such as “All Hallows Eve”, “Samhain,” “The Feast of the Dead,” “The Day of the Dead” and “All Hallowtide.”
  • The correct spelling of Halloween is Hallowe’en.
  • When Romans occupied Britain, they merged their own festival, the Poloma with the Samhain.
  • Black and orange are the color of Halloween. The Halloween marks the end of the harvest period and orange are associated with harvests while Black linked with death.
  • Black cats believed to be the protector of witches, and that is why cats are also associated with Halloween.
  • The first Jack-o-lantern was not made out of hollowed pumpkins but turnips.
  • It is believed that ringing bells drove spirit away.

Halloween Quotes

Halloween is a well loved and hated celebration, simply because of its over commercialization and the notion that it originated in the United States. If you are wondering about what some famous people think about Halloween, please see Halloween quotations that you can share to friends and dear ones.

“The word sorry is like Halloween, trick or treat; a convenient excuse or a great hope of change.” ― Nghi Lam

“Tis the night—the night

Of the grave’s delight,

And the warlocks are at their play;

Ye think that without,

The wild winds shout,

But no, it is they—it is they!” ― Arthur Cleveland Coxe

“For these beings, fall is ever the normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth….Such are the autumn people.” ― Ray Bradbury

“October proved a riot a riot to the senses and climaxed those giddy last weeks before Halloween.” ― Keith Donohue

“The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween.” ― Paula Curan

“Oh how the candles will be lit and the wood of worm burn in a fiery dust. For on all Hallow’s Eve will the spirits come to play, and only the fruit of thy womb will satisfy their endless roaming.” ― Solange Nicole

 

“First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys. Not that all months aren’t rare. But one strange year, halloween came early….don’t you ditch me jim nightshade…don’t talk death. Someone might hear…” ― Ray Bradbury

 

“I’m not a big fan of Halloween. Except for the dressing up part. I love picking out a costume. – Tory”- Matthew Leeth

“There is nothing funny about Halloween. This sarcastic festival reflects, rather, an infernal demand for revenge by children on the adult world.” – Jean Baudrillard

“Acting is like a Halloween mask that you put on.” – River Phoenix

“When I was a kid, Halloween was strictly a starchy-vegetable-only holiday, with pumpkins and Indian corn on the front stoop; there was nothing electric, nothing inflatable, nothing with latex membranes or strobes.” – Susan Orlean

“Being in a band you can wear whatever you want – it’s like an excuse for halloween everyday.” – Gwen Stefani

“The idea of dying and coming back is what makes the Halloween films work.” – Donald Pleasence

About Halloween

Christians celebrate a lot of festivals and one of them are the Halloween. It is a festival that is celebrated from sundown to the following day, the All Saints Day. Halloween is a combination of the Celtic festival of the dead and Roman Catholic Church harvest festival. It is an occasion that is celebrated to commemorate the dead, particularly the saints who were not recognized or not known. Keep in mind that there are a lot of people, canonized as saints but only a handful were recognized regularly. So, the Pope Boniface IV established “All Saints Day” to honor all the saints once and for all, every year.

The fact that honoring the dead is originally a Celtic festival, it is no longer surprising that most of the Halloween traditions did not come from the Roman Catholic Church. Come to think of it! The trick-o-treat is a Scottish tradition while the Jack-O-lantern has Irish influences all over it. The dressing up and honoring gods is still Samhain, with their custom of honoring gods, beliefs, not just in mischievous creatures, fairies but also in spirits. It is even safe to say that Halloween is still largely Celts.

Halloween today, is not just a Christian festival because it has been commercialize to the letter. For many people, Halloween simply means the time to wear scary and disgusting guise, the time for kids to have fun and to get scared watching horror movies. Halloween is a very popular holiday despite the fact that it is not even an official holiday, probably because for a lot of people it is more fun to believe in ghosts and the other side of the word than to think of Halloween as a holy day as I have seen in the past years.

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