Halloween and the Kukeris Festivals

Topics: Halloween, Samhain, All Souls' Day Pages: 3 (1143 words) Published: June 2, 2013
Halloween is traditional festival among most of the english- speaking nations.Traditinally Halloween is being celebrated on 31st of October- the night before All Saint’s Day. It is believed that it is the night of the year when ghosts, witches, and fairies are especially active. According to some scholars, incorporates traditions from pagan harvest festivals and festivals honouring the dead, particularly the Celtic Samhain, however other scholars believe that the feast originated entirely independently of Samhain. The three days between 31st October and 2nd November see pagan and Christian celebrations intertwined in a fascinating way and is a perfect example of superstition struggling with religious belief. Currently, it is widely thought that Halloween originated as a pagan Celtic festival of the dead related to the Irish and Scottish Samhain, but there is no evidence that it was connected with the dead in pre-Christian times. Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating which is also known as "guising", attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, watching horror films, as well as the religious observances of praying, fasting and attending vigils or church services. The Celts believed that evil spirits came with the long hours of winter darkness. They believed that on that night the barriers between our world and the spirit world were at their weakest and therefore spirits were most likely to be seen on earth. They also built bonfires to frighten the spirits away, and feasted and danced around the fires. The fires brought comfort to the souls in purgatory and people prayed for them as they held burning straw up high. On Halloween people are making so called Jack-o-lanterns out of pumpkin. These are hollowed out pumpkins with a face cut into one side. People once carved out beets,potatoes and turnips to use as lanterns on...
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