Halloween is my favorite time of the year. There are usually costumes, bonfires, parties, and the adorable children going around trick-or-treating. When celebrating this holiday, though, do you really know the purpose behind it and how it got started?
Halloween is a shortened term for “All Hallows Evening.” The ancient Celtics celebrated what they referred to as “Samhain.” This was the end of their harvest season, so they celebrated with festivals. It was also the day they believed the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead overlapped, and the dead would come back to life and cause chaos, like damaging the crops and causing sickness. They wore costumes to mimic and please the deceased.
When most of us think Halloween, we just think trick-or treating.
The tradition started when many immigrants moved to America. People would go out begging for food, money, or other things and unless they received anything, they would sometimes wake up the next morning and find themselves the victims of pranks.
Therefore, the term “trick-or-treat” began.
Halloween was not very popular until the beginning of the 1920’s. Men and women starting throwing parties to celebrate; stores started selling pre-made masks and costumes for people to disguise themselves.
Day of the Dead
The “Day of the Dead” is typically a Mexican holiday, but is also celebrated around the world. In many ways it is a lot like Halloween, except instead of fearing the dead, this is a day to celebrate them and honor the family and loved ones and invite them back into their home to be a part of their family once more. It is celebrated on November 1st and November 2nd every year.
People respect the dead by visiting their grave sites, cleaning them up, leaving offerings, and planting flowers and trees. They also wear their loved one’s clothing, paint their faces as skeletons or wear skeleton masks.
A sign is set up for their loved one in their home to honor them. Food that the deceased used to love and special bread is set on the altar, along with a marigold. Marigolds are believed to attract spirits, so these flowers are seen almost everywhere on the Day of the Dead.
Widely known is the sugar skull that has become the icon of the Day of the Dead. It is a skull highlighted with flowers, bright colors, and artwork.
Halloween has evolved a lot in the past century, and there are many beliefs throughout the world, and these are only two of them. The history behind these events are rarely anything like they evolved to be, and that just shows how time changes everything.
Feel free to leave a comment below and tell us your favorite holiday!