Halloween has origins in the ancient Gaelic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in ), which means roughly "summer's end. The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year".
It is a festival of the dead. The ancient Gaels believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home whilst harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm.
Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The celebrated with huge bonfires.
Bonfire of Samhain
Originally, beets and turnips were carved and used as lanterns. Later, pumpkins were used because they were bigger. They are now used as decoration to light up the outside of the house.
Examples of typical carved pumpkins.
Costumes were originally worn to confuse the spirits roaming the night. With a mask or costume on, evil sprits couldn‘t recognize people, therefore they couldn‘t play pranks on them.
Many scary films are associated with Halloween. The most popular are Dracula, Halloween, Frankenstein, The Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street …etc.
Candy, candy apples, candy corn are some of the typical Halloween foods. There is a lot of creativity when making dishes.
Trick or Treat Trick or Treating is a tradition in which children participate. They dress up in costume and go from door to door asking for candy, with the greeting trick or treat .