Draping yourself up in witch-like suits and black elongated hats while trying your very best to look evil on the night of Halloween; do you actually know why this day is celebrated?
It is essential and important to understand the origin of every festival or celebration that we enjoy. Apart from adding knowledge to your life, it also adds sense to our actions.
1. Time Travelling to 500 B.CTo understand the origin of Halloween, let us time travel far back to 500 B.C, the era of Celtic tribes.
This festival was celebrated and presently is celebrated on the evening before the Christian feast of All Saints Day which is 31st of October. It was originally celebrated by the Celtic tribes, which in present state are the countries of Ireland, United Kingdom and northern areas of France.
The Celtics celebrated their new years on 1st of November with 31st October being the last day of their year. They believed that the ‘ Samhain God- God of Death’ became active in the end month of October and thus he would assemble all the dead spirits of the previous years. On this night, the line between the living people and the dead was blurred out.
After the harvest of winter, people would meet under Oak trees and light sacrificial fires to the Samhain God. They believed that this act would keep the demons away from harming their crops and help the priests predict the futures. So the druids (priests) lighted huge bonfires where the people sacrificed animals and crops to please the Celtic deities.
2. Where Did The Trick Or Treat Custom Originate FromAnother such story goes that the Celtic tribes kept little pieces of food from their households to quell the demons and ghosts. This was done so that the demons would not harm or cause any damage to the families. Yes! This is how Trick or Treat originated.
3. Dressing Up As Ghosts And WitchesThe people believed that ghosts and spirits could not see their own reflections. Hence, making use of this knowledge they covered their faces with masks and dressed up as ghosts to walk unnoticed by them. Indeed smart!
4. Why The Name ‘Halloween’?Tracing back to Christian origin, the work "Hallowe'en" means hallowed evening or ‘Holy Evening’
5. Origin Of HalloweenStarting with the Celtic tribes this festival was celebrated in the country of Ireland. As years passed by it was celebrated in the neighbouring counties and Rome but in a modified way. They celebrated it in a fun way and played pranks.
Initially, Halloween was limited to the colonial England due to Protestants belief but as people migrated and various ethnic groups emerged, the festival found itself celebrated in various parts of the world including America, India, and other countries too.
In India, one can always celebrate Halloween at various clubs and restaurants. With the Treat and Trick festival being celebrated, the only sad thing is that we do not get a Halloween Holiday like other countries.
To know more about getting Halloween ready and Halloween celebrations in India, stay tuned.