Halloween

Topics: Celts, Samhain, Irish mythology Pages: 1 (495 words) Published: October 22, 2014

Halloween
Halloween is the night of October 31, the eve of All Saints' Day, commonly celebrated by children who dress in costume and ask for candy or other treats door-to-door. Halloween has evolved from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain to a modern Halloween that has become fewer ghosts and monsters and more about costumes and candy. The Celtic also marked this day as the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. The Celtic believed that it was a transition between the seasons was a connection to the world of the dead. The tradition of wearing costumes in Halloween came from the ancient Celtic custom of townspeople to impersonate demons and spirits. The Celts believed that disguising themselves as spirits would help them not be noticed by the real spirits wandering on the streets. It was also believed in the Celtic times and up till the medieval times that fairies would run free on the Eve of Samhain. Fairies were nor good or evil, just mischievous. On Samhain, it was thought that fairies would disguise themselves as beggars and go door to door begging for food. People who gave them food would be rewarded and those who didn’t would receive a terrible surprise. (Fun Fact: In Medieval Europe, townspeople also thought owls were witches, and to hear an owl's call meant someone was about to die.) On November 2nd, which was All Souls’ Day, one popular custom was to make “soul cakes”, a simple treat with tart red or black berries. Children on that day would go “souling”, begging for cakes in exchange for prayers of the dead relatives of the person who gave them cake. In modern day Halloween, candy is given to in order to keep kids from “tricking”. As part of the Samhain celebration, the Celts would bring home an ember from the communal bonfire at the end of All Hallow Eve. The people would carry these embers in hollowed turnips, fabricating a lantern that resembles our modern day “Jack-o- Lantern. This custom carried...
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