Halloween (from the English Halloween), or the feast of the dead, in 2021 is traditionally scheduled for October 31, falls on a Sunday. The celebration causes conflicting feelings among followers of Slavic traditions, but has found its fans among fans of mysticism, extraordinary phenomena.
History of the holiday
The origins of the event go back to the pre-Christian era, to the beliefs of the ancient Celts, settled in the territories of modern countries of great Britain and France. The Celtic calendar was divided into two periods — summer and winter, the boundary of which was October 31, or Samhain, the end of the warm season. It was believed that in a mysterious way on this day, preceding winter, the doors to the world of the dead open, from which the souls of the departed, as well as various evil spirits, come out to people. In order not to become a victim of dark forces, the ghosts were left with generous gifts, and bonfires were lit around which they gathered with children. They believed that the power of fire protects against misfortune. At the same time, the tradition was born to carve a peculiar head out of turnips, inside which the coals from the sacred fire were placed.
The adoption of Christianity alienated the Celts from celebrating pagan celebrations. But with the spread of Catholicism, the revival of ancestral beliefs began with the penetration of Church traditions. Halloween precedes all saints ‘ Day, which falls on November 1.
In the Middle ages, Christian monks gave the event an ominous reputation in the description, which is reflected in cultural sources. The settlement of European residents and emigration to the United States led to the widespread spread of the holiday around the world.
Traditions and rituals
In Celtic times, it was considered the main rite of sacrifice to the gods of evil spirits and evil in order to appease. Bonfires, burning lamps, and other lights were symbols of human protection from the machinations of dark forces. It was impossible to find out where the ghosts were hiding, because the evil spirit took the images of animals, trees, and transformed into people. Most of all, they were afraid of cats, which were often possessed by dark forces. People also hid in various costumes, so as not to be identified as vampires, witches, ghouls.
Outfits, as a rule, are saturated with black and red tones, made in the form of hoodies, robes with hoods. It is also customary to dress up in the outfits of famous characters and personalities.
The main attribute of the Halloween celebration is the so-called Jack’s lamp, which is a pumpkin with its eyes and mouth cut out and a candle inserted inside. The popularity of vegetables is associated with accessibility, cheapness, expressiveness of forms. The first “Jack lanterns” were cut from turnips and rutabagas.
Divination became a mandatory element of the holiday. By the Apple peel thrown behind them, the girls guessed the first letter of the betrothed’s name, and from the candles by the mirror, they tried to see the groom’s face in the darkness.
Today, in many countries, frightening rides, fireworks, and costumed processions are arranged for young people.
On Halloween, it is customary to prepare sweets, generously treat children, for whom collecting Goodies becomes the main occupation of this day. Housewives prepare a variety of toffee, fruit syrups, cookies in the form of corn.
A special treat – an Irish bread “barmbrack”, decorated with raisins, grapes. Traditionally, apples are prepared in caramel, glaze, and baked goods in the form of body parts. It is customary to add peas, chips, coins, pieces of cloth, rings to the dough. Those who will get it:
- peas — do not get married this year (get married);
- sliver – wait for trouble in the family;
- coin – rejoice in the prosperity;
- fabric – suffer from lack of money;
- ring – get ready for an early wedding.
The completion of agricultural work was associated with an abundance of vegetables and fruits, from which the main dishes were prepared.
Features of the celebration
The main colors for celebrating the date are black and orange. Houses are decorated with decorative figures, pumpkins, symbols of the other world (crosses, skulls, etc.)
In the student community, carnival events are fun, with elements of practical jokes. In America, Halloween has become popular in recent decades, mainly among young people who were brought up on disney cartoons and are passionate about English-language cinema.
Not everyone accepts Halloween as an idea of honoring supernatural forces, but the holiday with a centuries-old history still continues to gather fans around the world.