”Happy Halloween, big bro !!” On October 31st, I got a message from Celine, my kind and sweet sister from France.
At the moment I felt delighted, a small question occurred to me : Why do people celebrate Halloween? But she had absolutely no idea.Immediately I went to GOOGLE. 5 main significant factors turned up soon.
- Speaking of the origins of Halloween, it seems that no one can answer it for sure. We can roughly say that the current Halloween holiday comes from an old Celtic celebration – All Hallows Eve, followed by All Saints Day on November 1st.During the festival they used to bless and convert Pagans.
- The Jack-O-Lantern tradition has an interesting story(one of many versions on its origins). It is another Celtic tale that Stingy Jack played a joke on the Devil, so that when he died he couldn’t go to the hell. He couldn
‘t enter heaven neither because of his sins. He had only to wander forever,while using a hallow pumpkin given by the devil with a burning coal inside to lighten his path.
- Trick or Treat? Why? It is said in the early days that some groups of children travelled door by door praying for souls or performing for money or cakes on All Hallows Eve. And people would disguise themselves as ghosts or witches to know on the door demanding for food. Nervous households gave them what they needed for peace.As years gone by, it has become a special tradition for entertainment.
- With regards to dressing up, I would like to say it was a clever way avoiding ghosts’ harm. When it was believed that ghosts came back to the world, people feared to encounter ghosts if they left their homes. For safety’s sake, they would put on masks pretending to be fellow spirits.
- Now in this day in age Halloween is a well-known holiday for children of some countries to dress up and get candy.This tradition became more and more of a secular holiday, leaving many of the religious meanings and overtones behind.(source: info.com)
All in all, the reason why we celebrate Halloween basically is dressing up in order to scare away the evil monsters and spirits.
However, later on in a pub, I met Kasia(a Polish friend) by chance. She was unfortunately asked by the same question. Her answer surprised me.
In Poland on Halloween, there is no Jack-O-Lanterns, no Trick -or-treat and no costume ball. They don’t celebrate it at all. Instead, Polish people go to cemeteries and lighten loads of candles to cherish the memory of their dead loved.
In my point of view, it is more like the Tomb-sweeping Day in China, to a large extent.
I would like to hear much more about it. What it your attitude to Halloween ?
- Why do we carve pumpkins on Halloween? (judythewriter.wordpress.com)
- All Hallow’s Eve (anglozine.wordpress.com)
- Why Do We Have Halloween? (lesser-known.com)