July 12, 2024
Origins of Halloween The Holiday's Meaning & Traditions

Origins of Halloween: The Holiday’s Meaning & Traditions

Halloween is a festival celebrated on 31st October every year. In 2024, the 31st of October falls on a Tuesday.

The origination of this well-known spooky holiday began with the Celtic festival, Samhain.

This festival is celebrated at the end of the harvesting season. It is believed that the 1st November marks the beginning of the New Year.

The celebrations are done to give a hearty farewell to the summer and welcome winter.

The ancient Celts strongly had faith that during this transition, the veil between the two worlds was open.

The two worlds here refer to the living and the dead. The veil was the thinnest during this time, and it was easiest to get guidance from the ancestors.

The word ‘hallow’ means ‘holy’ or ‘saint.’ 1st November is known as Hallow Day, and the day before is called All Hallows Eve, transformed into the word ‘Halloween.’

Why Do You Dress Up in Ghostly Costumes?

As the veil between this world and the other world becomes thin, good and evil spirits can move around.

Intending to fool and scare off the evil spirits, people used to dress up in scary costumes.

The evil spirits would mistake them for one of them and leave without disturbing them.

So, people dress up in the scariest way possible to save themselves from supernatural beings or souls of the dead.

Some scariest costumes include dressing up as a nun, frightening ghost, dead zombie, scary Dracula, skeleton, or sinister jester, which helps make the best Halloween photoshoot ideas for couples.

It is important to dress up in a scary costume to follow and truly celebrate the spirit of Halloween.

The modern-day celebrations seem to have forgotten the essence and have changed the dressing costumes to get a fashionable and glamorous look.

Why Do You Go Trick-Or-Treating?

Why Do You Go Trick-Or-Treating?

It is believed that otherworldly spirits travel to Earth during these days.

Thus, extra space is kept at the table during this festival for deceased loved ones.

To keep the bothersome spirits away, food is placed outside the door.

It is believed that if no food is offered to such spirits, they might end up harassing the homeowners by playing dirty tricks.

That is why the sentence, ‘trick or treat’ is used on Halloween Day.

It denotes that if the owners don’t give them a treat, they will trick them in some way.

During the Middle Ages, poor people collected baked food from rich families.

Such foot items were known as the ‘soul cakes.’ The poor people who received the cakes promised to pray for the beloved deceased of the giver.

The treats in today’s time are in the form of candies.

Why are Pumpkins Carved? 

Why are Pumpkins Carved?

In earlier times, people in Ireland would carve out large turnips, potatoes, or beets.

They would create a demon face and place a candle or light inside it.

The intention was to scare away the evil spirits and welcome the deceased loved ones inside.

A burning coal was also placed inside the carving to emit light.

Such carved items were placed near the windows, doors, and any entrance place to protect the house.

In the 1800s, when the Irish immigrants arrived in the New World, they observed that pumpkins were easier to carve.

They were available in larger quantities and were the perfect replacement for turnips. In today’s time, some people buy pumpkins and carve them.

However, a lot of people buy artificial pumpkins with lights. They are available in different colors and shapes.

The Activity of Bobbing for Apples

The Activity of Bobbing for Apples

Bobbing for Apples is one of the most common games played in the Halloween Parties.

This game takes inspiration from the Roman Festival Pomona. She was the goddess of fruit trees, gardens, and orchards.

This festival is celebrated around 1st November every year. They believed that anybody who caught the bobbing apple first would get married in the coming new year.

The apple peels are considered to be very special in this festival.

Within the apple peels was the secret of true love. The individual who bobbed the apple had to peel an apple in one go and snatch a long piece.

That piece was to be thrown over the shoulder while spinning around. When the peel falls on the ground, it will form a design.

It is believed that the specific design represented the initial of the peeler’s lover.

A tub is filled with water, and all the apples are emptied in it.

Everybody takes a chance and gives their best to bob an apple. It’s a fun activity with a unique history to it.

Celebrate Halloween 2024 with Meaning!

Now that you have understood the meaning behind every tradition of Halloween, it’s time to prepare.

The coming Halloween will be the one when you know the meaning behind every tradition you follow.

You will relate to the purpose when you dress up scary, go for trick-or-treat, bob for apples, or carve the pumpkins.

Passing on these stories to the younger generation is something you can do at the Halloween gathering.

The traditions have slightly evolved with the changing times.

The initial treats included fruits, nuts, coins, and toys. Now, they have converted into candies.

However, knowing the purpose and meaning behind these traditions is what keeps the essence in them.

Get ready to embrace the spooky and scary energy of the coming Halloween by dressing up scary and eating candies.

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Isabella Anderson

Isabella Anderson, a dynamic educational consultant and learning strategist, brings a wealth of experience to her role. Since joining our platform in 2020, she has developed a reputation for creating engaging, effective learning materials. Isabella holds a Master's in Education from Harvard University and previously worked as a curriculum developer for educational publishers. Her passion for learning extends into her personal life, where she enjoys exploring historical fiction and practicing yoga.

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