Did You Know? – Halloween

Hi everyone!
Today, I’ve decided – in honor of the most awesome holiday ever – to make a special post.

We all know what day it is today though, don’t we?

Of course we do.

It’s that time of the year, where we all wear our costumes ( most of us ), go from door to door and annoy neighbors into giving us their stashes of candy and coins. ( unless they want to end up glued on a chair.)

However, do we really know what this holiday is all about?? Has Halloween always been the holiday we know today, or is there a dark mysterious origin few only know about?

To answer this, I’ve been searching the deep web….

It was deep.

And dark.

But I made it.

So, here is what Halloween actually used to be about – a short version of a very long explanation I found.

Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.




To be honest, I didn’t know this myself until I learned about it in a class I’m currently taking at university. It’s called British Culture and Civilization and learning about the people who used to inhabit Britain and are inhabiting it today is a part of it.
Since we had to go through that, it meant learning about the Celts too. They’re a part of many people who’ve inhabited the British mainland and they along with the other types of people who’ve inhabited the UK later on are the roots of today’s inhabitants – their ancestors.
There are many other things connected to Halloween such as…..

The Superstitions:

“Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world. Today’s Halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too. 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. We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. 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. And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt.
But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today’s trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married. In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it. In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl’s future husband. (In some versions of this legend, confusingly, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.) Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband. Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands’ initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands’ faces. Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.
Of course, whether we’re asking for romantic advice or trying to avoid seven years of bad luck, each one of these Halloween superstitions relies on the good will of the very same “spirits” whose presence the early Celts felt so keenly.”
So you see – Halloween used to be a big deal back centuries ago and today it’s just providing us the fun of a lifetime with games and other activities and treats available only once a year every year.

Come on then, what are you waiting for? Go out there, turn those stores upside down, find your costume and face your neighbors head-on for treats or try your luck at making some tricks.

In any case, gather your friends and have some real fangrific fun!

p.s. Don’t get a sugar rush! Watch your sugar level – even though it tastes good it might cause some minor difficulties later.

p.p.s The information provided in this post has been borrowed from: http://www.history.com

Thank you so much for reading and have an awesome day!

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