What are the origins of Halloween?

By 31 October, 2017Events, General, News

Halloween Centro Plaza Marbella

Definition and Carved pumpkins

Halloween is an annual festival that is celebrated on the night of Oct. 31 and on this night thousands of children as well as many adults throughout Europe and the Americas, some of them costumed as the supernatural or the macabre, observe a night of trick or treat.

The hollowing out and carving of vegetables has origins that span millennia back to when Halloween was an ancient pre-Roman Celtic of Ireland (Called “Samhain”). Back then the carving of vegetables, usually turnips, served to protect those carrying them. The pumpkin, however, is a recent addition to Halloween symbology becasue the Irish immigrants importing their Halloween traditions to the New World realised it was easier to carve and thus it became an instrumental part of Halloween.

Mascaras y disfraces

In parts of Scotland and Ireland, ancient Celts wore masks, or exchanged clothes, to ward off, or confuse, the spirits of dead relatives wishing to impose on the living.

This tradition of masking one’s identity has survived and has been reinterpreted many centuries later into the costumes worn today.

Halloween vs the Catholic Church

As Christianity swept through Europe, the Catholic Church in Rome sought to erase pagan rituals and cement its place in the minds and hearts of converts.

To entice people to attend church, and to make compatible pagan traditions with those of Christianity, Pope Gregory IV in 837AD adapted the May 13 Christian Feast of All Holy Martyrs, to coincide with Samhain.

And trick or treating, the Halloween practice where children go door to door asking for a candied treat or suffer a tricky consequence also goes back to the Church’s attempts to integrate pagan beliefs.

As the Celts had developed the tradition of wearing masks and disguises, the Church adopted this ritual to fits its practises. People would dress up On All Hallows Eve as angels, saints or even demons.

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