Meanwhile, the Halloween story is interesting, and you should know it, even if you think that such celebrations are just a tribute to fleeting fashion.
The roots of this strange holiday take us back centuries, to the pre-Christian era, when the lands of Ireland, Northern France and England were inhabited by the Celtic tribes. Their year consisted of two parts - summer and winter. And the transition of one season to another was marked by the end of the harvest, was celebrated on October 31 and symbolized the beginning of a new year. Winter came into its own.
The night of November 1, when, according to legends, the border between the worlds of the living and the dead opened, was called Samhain, or Samhain, and was considered the main holiday of ancient peoples. The Celtic pagans attached great importance to it and, in order not to become prey for the shadow of the dead, dressed up in animal heads and skins, put out the hearths in their houses and frightened off all their fearsome ghosts.
Treats for the spirits were exhibited on the street, while the inhabitants themselves gathered around bonfires that the Celtic priests were raising to the druids.
On this night, animals were sacrificed, predictions were made, and the winter hearth was lit, bringing the tongues of the sacred flame into the house. The tradition of celebration was passed down from century to century, until in the 1st century BC AD the Romans did not conquer the territory of the Celts.
Converted to the Christian faith, the inhabitants of the islands of Ireland and Britain were forced to abandon many pagan customs. However, the memories of Samhain continued to live and be transmitted from generation to generation.
And when, in the 9th century, Pope Gregory III postponed the celebration of All Saints Day from May 13 to November 1, Samhain began to celebrate again. The night before the holiday in medieval English was called All Hallows Even (All Saints' Evening), abbreviated as Hallowe'en, and very briefly Halloween.
Did the Christian church strive to revive the feast of the pagans? Most likely, the aim was to eradicate the Celtic traditions, but the coincidence of dates led to the opposite effect. The holiday not only survived, but also tightly rallied in the minds of people with the church celebration of All Saints Day.
Since then, Halloween has been celebrated everywhere in the best traditions of Samhane, and the very night of the celebration was chosen by the witches who were arranging a sabbath and frightening civilians.
In Germany Halloween is no less colorful. The Frankenstein Castle in Darmstadt attracts thousands of people dressed as monsters on the night of November 1. And local residents believe that it is on this night that the owner’s ghost appears on the roof of the castle.
The most impressive processions Of france held in the suburbs of Paris in Disneyland and Limoges. More than 30 thousand people come there every year, and it is there that the most memorable goblin parades, vampires, and ghosts illuminate their way with pumpkins - lanterns. On this night, bars and cafes of French cities offer "witch" dishes, and visitors dress up no less colorful than participants in parades and processions.
In China Halloween is known as Teng Chieh - the day of remembrance of the ancestors. On this day, food and water are put in front of photos of deceased relatives, as well as a lantern illuminating the way for the souls of ancestors traveling on Halloween night. Monks in Buddhist monasteries made of paper "boats of fate", some of which are very large. In the evening, these boats are burned to help their ancestral spirits get to heaven.
The greatest scope of the celebration received in the USA and Canadawhere this holiday is most popular. Every year, 65% of Americans dress up their homes and offices for Halloween. Halloween is a holiday when the most sweets are sold, and the second holiday after Christmas is the total turnover of the pre-holiday sales.
Once brought to America by Irish immigrants, the holiday of the Celts found a second life there, and in our time it is only Christmas that gives up its mass character. He even has his capital - Los Angeles and New York, where the most vivid and colorful festivities and carnivals take place on this day. American Halloween business cards: the famous jack-o-lanterns pumpkin flashlight and begging for sweets - Trick or treat.
Done Jack lantern very simple. 1. You need to take a large orange pumpkin and with a sharp knife, preferably with a notch, carefully cut off the "cover". 2. Clean the seeds and fibers with a dessert spoon, then remove a little pulp with a strong spoon. 3. Use a felt-tip pen to draw facial features on a pumpkin and cut eyes, nose and mouth with a small knife. 4. Put inside a small candle and cover with a cut off top.
The ancient rite of “Trick or treat” (“Treat or regret”) became a favorite game of children, which on the night of November 1 with great pleasure knocking on the doors of neighbors and offers to buy off sweets from themselves, threatening in case of refusal to smear the doors with soot. A lot of things are forgiven for the children on this day, and that’s why, probably, they love Halloween so much.
Despite the fact that Americans celebrate it for more than two centuries, the holiday is not official. This does not prevent the residents of New World from spending more than $ 2.5 billion annually on pumpkins, jewelry, candles and greeting cards.
In Russia Halloween has appeared quite recently and its popularity so far, of course, does not compare with the popularity of American Halloween. But, nevertheless, he has already gained his traditions and his fans. There are a lot of them among the so-called progressive young people who are noisy and celebrating merrily in clubs and discos.
On the last day of October, very many club-type entertainment establishments prepare various Halloween-parties for their guests. The hall is decorated in orange and black colors, and the Jack-o-lanterns (traditional pumpkin lanterns) are not enough.
The entertainment program is based on costumed “demonic” shows, fire shows, competitions for the best carnival costume and the most horrible grimace are held. But the main thing this evening is unbridled fun, as well as “terrible” jokes and practical jokes.
However, at the official level, things are not so great. Halloween is an alien holiday to Russia, we are convinced in the Moscow Patriarchate and in the Council of Muftis of Russia.
According to Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, “the rituals associated with this day, from childhood, teach people to give some tribute to evil, reconcile with it, even cooperate - instead of fighting evil and resolutely reject him, as taught by the Russian Orthodox Church. "
But one should not approach the matter too seriously, because this is just a holiday, and as a result, good still triumphs over evil. So celebrate on health and have fun till you drop.