Thursday, October 29, 2009

History of Halloween related

Staff Writer

Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. The Celts were the ones who invented Halloween. Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.

On Oct. 31, the Celts celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture.

By A.D. 43 the Romans conquered the Celts and kept the traditions the Celts had but added their thoughts. The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. In A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.
The superstitions of Halloween are that we avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the middle Ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred; it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe.
People mainly forget what Halloween was mainly about, it was about the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. Halloween to a lot of little kids is mainly a day were you go around house to house getting candy while, parents try to keep them safe by checking every piece of candy to make sure their was no poison or anything bad in it, it is also many traditional activities that include bonfires, costume parties, visiting "haunted houses" and carving jack-o-lanterns. The activity is popular in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and due to increased American cultural influence in recent years, imported through exposure to US television and other media, trick-or-treating has started to occur among children in many parts of Europe, and in the Saudi Aramco camps of Dhahran, Akaria compounds and Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia.

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