Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ancient holiday sparks modern Halloween

By: Savannah Casto

  We all love and enjoy Halloween and have been celebrating it since we learned to walk.  Trick or Treating, Halloween movies, and home decorations, but where did it all come from?
  About 2000 years ago in Ireland, villagers celebrated a holiday called Samhain, November 1.  The night before Samhain, October 31, it was believed that the deceased were able to return as ghosts and roam freely.   Due to the villagers fear of these ghosts they would set wine and food outside of their doors to keep them at bay, and when leaving their houses would wear masks to blend in with the spirits.  All of this is pretty similar to the modern version “Day of the Dead” in Mexico, November 1, where they to wear extravagant costumes, offer food and gifts to the graves of their lost loved ones, and even hold parades for this holiday.  
  November 2, the needy would go from door to door and beg for “Soul Bread”.  If they were given food, in return they would pray for their dead family.  This became known as souling, because back in those times it was believed that by giving someone some bread that their soul would be saved from purgatory.
  A Christian church decided to change Samhain to “All Saints Day” or “All Hallows” in the 8th century.  The night before (Oct. 31) became “All Hallows Eve” or Halloween for short.
  Soon “Guising” became a tradition, where kids ran from door to door and received candy, wine, or money in return of singing, poetry, or jokes.  In the 19th century U.S.A, Scottish and British immigrants revived this tradition calling it Trick or Treating.  This was the kick off to the Halloween we all love and celebrate.
  So now when the scary movies come on, the weather gets cold, and October 31 rolls around, you will know the full story of what created this spooky holiday. Happy Halloween!

No comments:

Post a Comment