is a mix of ancient Celtic, Catholic and Roman religious rituals and European
folk traditions that blended together over time to create the holiday we know
all began with the Celts more then 2,000 years ago. They lived in the area of
modern United Kingdom, Ireland and north France. The Celtic year consisted of
two parts – "light half” (it means summer) and "dark half” (it means winter).
October 31st ancient Celts celebrated the end of harvest and the beginning of
"dark half” of a year. The festival called Samhain (pronounced
"sah-win") and it lasted not one night. The night to November 1st was
the time "between years”, it considered to be a magic time when the border
between this world and spirit world became very thin and the ghosts of the dead
returned to the earth. People put on heads and skins of animals to be like
spirits and not to fall prey. The
villagers gathered together and Druids lit huge bonfire to get the ghosts of
the dead back to the spirit world. Other fires were put out and each home lit
their hearth from the bonfire.
Catholic Church’s influences grew in Europe and it disabled the pagan rituals
the 7th century, the Vatican began to merge it with a church holiday. November
1st was called "All Saints Day”. "All Saints Day” was known then as
"Hallowmas”. Hallow means holy or saintly, so the translation is "mass of the
saints”. The night before October 31 was "All Hallows’ Eve” which transformed
holiday came to America with Irish immigrants during the Potato Famine of the
Halloween is a holiday celebrated at night of October 31st. Traditional
activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting "haunted houses" and making jack-o-lanterns.
is one of the main symbols of Halloween. It is a lamp carved from a pumpkin
like head with light inside.
is an activity for children on or around Halloween. Children wear
different costumes and go from house to house, asking for treats such as
a candy or sometimes money, with the question "Trick or treat?". The
"trick" part of "trick or treat" is a threat to play a
trick on the homeowner or his property if no treat is given. Trick-or-treating
is one of the main traditions of Halloween.
costumes traditionally represent ghosts, skeletons, witches, devils, werewolves
and night animals like bats, cats, wolves etc.
are several games traditionally associated with Halloween parties. One common
game is dunking or apple bobbing, in which apples float in a tub or a large
basin of water and the participants must use their teeth to remove an apple
from the basin.
now Halloween is a patchwork holiday and one more occasion to meet friends and
spend great time together.