Sticky fingers, tired feet; Last house’s “Trick or Treat!”
Carving pumpkins, eating a bunch of candies, draping the white cloth and all the weird attires that one sees at Halloween are great fun. The ritual of this festival has marked its appearance since ages now. But apart from the weird and scary attires and trick or treat, there is more to know about the Halloween culture and from where does it originate.
Two faculty members of the Northeastern University, named Emily Arntsen and Gregory Grinnell have discussed about how the traditions of Halloween have evolved and originated. It is said that most of the Halloween traditions evolve from Samhain, which is an ancient Celtic holiday. The myth that revolves around this day demonstrates the breaking down of the partition between the natural and the supernatural circles, allowing the spirits to be visible on earth. On this day, the Roman Catholics from their inbound tradition believe to honour the dead, as said by Megan Goodwin, a philosophy and religion lecturer. The tale was that the witches who believed in Satan as the God did everything in opposition to the church, like saying the prayers backwards. They tried honouring and speaking to the evil spirits which other people kept themselves away from. Not only this but the tradition of candle lit pumpkins, known as Jack-o-Lanterns, derives itself from the bog fires where there were fires due to the rotting woods but people believed that the evil spirits tried to bring them towards the burning woods to torture and kill them.
Speaking of the costumes, wearing dresses like witches came into being when a long wave of witchcraft swept through Europe in the 17th century. The Celts (European culture groups also known as Barbarians in the 7th and 8th centuries) dressed like witches and evil spirits and went from door to door. They begged for food and if denied they would curse the entire household. That’s where we have the ‘trick or treat’ tradition from!
The Halloween that we are familiar with, does not rest itself on these strict religious traditions and intense supernatural myths. It is a fun sought festival that adults and kids enjoy, to have fun and get few treats. It is not just celebrated in specific countries but it is observed in several countries on October 31.