Halloween History Meaning

Halloween History Meaning, InfoMistico.com

The celebration of Halloween began more than 3,000 years ago, in what we know today as Ireland, as a Celtic harvest ceremony. For them, the change of seasons acquired a magical importance. At the end of October and the beginning of November, they celebrated a festival called Samhain.

Why Halloween? – Do you want to know the origin of this holiday?

For them, this was the most important night of prayer, since it was the last day of the harvest and the beginning of winter, which marked the new year. The Celts believed that on that night the window separating the world of the living and the dead disappeared.

On the night of October 31st, the souls of the dead returned to visit earthly homes.

To keep these spirits happy and keep evil spirits away from their homes the Celts would leave food or candy outside their homes, a tradition that over time became what is known today as “trick or treat”, where children go from house to house asking for candy on October 31st.

The dead come back on this night to visit us

Halloween night fear and terror come from the belief that the dead come back on this night to visit us and hence the custom, in some countries, of dressing up in costumes to mingle among the dead.

With the arrival of Christianity, it was thought that the way to convert the Celts was to adopt their festival and turn it into a religious one.

Thus November 1st became All Saints’ Day, a day of prayer to honor the saints. October 31st became the eve of All Hallow’s Eve and hence the name Halloween.

Celtic traditions were kept in time and that is why the night of magic, witches and ghosts is still with us. Nowadays, in October in some European countries, people still decorate their homes with pumpkins, witches, ghosts, skeletons and black cats.

Halloween is a night of fantasy and mystery.

The religious origin of Halloween

About 1,400 years ago, Pope Boniface IV (+615) dedicated a Christian temple in honor of “All Saints”.

Although the holiday was originally celebrated in May, Pope Gregory III (+741) changed the date to November 1. When in the year 840 Pope Gregory IV established that the feast is celebrated universally, as important as it were the preparations organized during the eve (October 31).

All Hallow’s Eve

“All Hallow’s Eve” was the term adopted by the Anglo-Saxon culture to call these celebrations, since translated into Spanish it means “holy eve”. With time the pronunciation was deformed: from “All Hallow’s Eve” it became “All Hallowed Even” and, finally, “Halloween”.

In the United States, small communities of Irish Catholics began to celebrate this date in the middle of the 19th century. Pumpkins cut in the shape of grotesque faces and illuminated with candles inside, originated in the games of Irish children who used potatoes and turnips for this purpose.

The name of these pumpkins, jack-o’-lantern, derives from the legend of a drunkard named Jack, who with tricks managed to make the devil promise not to come back to haunt his soul.

According to the legend, when he died he was not allowed to enter heaven because he was stingy and thirsty, so he had to go to hell and the devil condemned him to wander the world until Judgment Day. The devil threw him burning coal so he could see in the dark and Jack put it inside a turnip he had been eating.

American Irish traded the cabbage for the pumpkin and, emulating poor Jack the Lantern, gave birth to the myth of the Halloween pumpkin. A myth that in turn gave rise to a whole gastronomy with the orange fruit as the protagonist.

Original “trick or treat” tradition

Another deep-rooted tradition in the USA is known as “Trick or Treat”. As is well known, on Halloween night, American children dress up as monsters and knock on their neighbors’ doors, giving them the choice of either giving them a piece of candy or getting a fright.

This custom owes its origin to the persecution of the Protestants against the Catholics in England in the XVI and XVII centuries. As a result of this persecution, the Protestant King James I and his Parliament were victims of an attempted assassination attempt, but the plan was discovered when a certain Guy Fawkes was out of his mind.

As a result, a bourgeois party was organized in which gangs of Protestants, hidden in masks, celebrated the date by visiting Catholics and demanding beer and cakes…

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