Halloween

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Halloween

  1. 1. History of Halloween Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. The word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows' Evening also known as Hallowe'en or All Hallows' Eve. Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting "haunted houses" and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand. Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced "sah-win"). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops. The festival would frequently involve bonfires. It is believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which attracted bats to the area. These are additional attributes of the history of Halloween. Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them. Trick-or-treating, is an activity for children on or around Halloween in which they proceed from house to house in costumes, asking for treats such as confectionery with the question, "Trick or treat?" The "trick" part of "trick or treat" is a threat to play a trick on the homeowner or his property if no treat is given. Trick-or-treating is one of the main traditions of Halloween. It has become socially expected that if one lives in a neighborhood with children one should purchase treats in preparation for trick-or-treaters. The history of Halloween has evolved. The activity is popular in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and due to increased American cultural influence in recent years, imported through exposure to US television and other media, trick-or-treating has started to occur among children in many parts of Europe, and in the Saudi Aramco camps of Dhahran, Akaria compounds and Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia. The most
  2. 2. significant growth and resistance is in the United Kingdom, where the police have threatened to prosecute parents who allow their children to carry out the "trick" element. In continental Europe, where the commercedriven importation of Halloween is seen with more skepticism, numerous destructive or illegal "tricks" and police warnings have further raised suspicion about this game and Halloween in general. In Ohio, Iowa, and Massachusetts, the night designated for Trick-or-treating is often referred to as Beggars Night. Part of the history of Halloween is Halloween costumes. The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays goes back to the Middle Ages, and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-ortreating resembles the late medieval practice of "souling," when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering, whining], like a beggar at Hallowmas." Yet there is no evidence that souling was ever practiced in America, and trick-or-treating may have developed in America independent of any Irish or British antecedent. There is little primary Halloween history documentation of masking or costuming on Halloween in Ireland, the UK, or America before 1900. The earliest known reference to ritual begging on Halloween in English speaking North America occurs in 1911, when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario, near the border of upstate New York, reported that it was normal for the smaller children to go street guising (see below) on Halloween between 6 and 7 p.m., visiting shops and neighbors to be rewarded with nuts and candies for their rhymes and songs. Another isolated reference appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920. The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but do not depict trick-or-treating. Ruth Edna Kelley, in her 1919 history of the holiday, The Book of Hallowe'en, makes no mention of such a custom in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America." It does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the earliest known uses in print of the term "trick or treat" appearing in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939. Thus, although a quarter million Scots-Irish immigrated to America between 1717 and 1770, the Irish Potato Famine brought almost a million immigrants in 1845-1849, and British and Irish immigration to America peaked in the 1880s, ritualized begging on Halloween was virtually unknown in America until generations later.
  3. 3. Trick-or-treating spread from the western United States eastward, stalled by sugar rationing that began in April 1942 during World War II and did not end until June 1947. Early national attention to trick-or-treating was given in October 1947 issues of the children's magazines Jack and Jill and Children's Activities, and by Halloween episodes of the network radio programs The Baby Snooks Show in 1946 and The Jack Benny Show and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1948. The custom had become firmly established in popular culture by 1952, when Walt Disney portrayed it in the cartoon Trick or Treat, Ozzie and Harriet were besieged by trick-or-treaters on an episode of their television show, and UNICEF first conducted a national campaign for children to raise funds for the charity while trickor-treating. A jack-o'-lantern (sometimes also spelled Jack O'Lantern) is typically a carved pumpkin. It is associated chiefly with the holiday Halloween. Typically the top is cut off, and the inside flesh then scooped out; an image, usually a monstrous face, is carved onto the outside surface, and the lid replaced. During the night, a candle is placed inside to illuminate the effect. The term is not particularly common outside North America, although the practice of carving lanterns for Halloween is. In folklore, an old Irish folk tale tells of Jack, a lazy yet shrewd farmer who uses a cross to trap the Devil. One story says that Jack tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree, and once he was up there Jack quickly placed crosses around the trunk or carved a cross into the bark, so that the Devil couldn't get down. Another myth says that Jack put a key in the Devil's pocket while he was suspended upside-down; Another version of the myth says that Jack was getting chased by some villagers from whom he had stolen, when he met the Devil, who claimed it was time for him to die. However, the thief stalled his death by tempting the Devil with a chance to bedevil the church-going villagers chasing him. Jack told the Devil to turn into a coin with which he would pay for the stolen goods (the Devil could take on any shape he wanted); later, when the
  4. 4. coin/Devil disappeared, the Christian villagers would fight over who had stolen it. The Devil agreed to this plan. He turned himself into a silver coin and jumped into Jack's wallet, only to find himself next to a cross Jack had also picked up in the village. Jack had closed the wallet tight, and the cross stripped the Devil of his powers; and so he was trapped. In both myths, Jack only lets the Devil go when he agrees never to take his soul. After a while the thief died, as all living things do. Of course, his life had been too sinful for Jack to go to heaven; however, the Devil had promised not to take his soul, and so he was barred from Hell as well. Jack now had nowhere to go. He asked how he would see where to go, as he had no light, and the Devil mockingly tossed him an ember that would never burn out from the flames of hell. Jack carved out one of his turnips (which was his favorite food), put the ember inside it, and began endlessly wandering the Earth for a resting place. He became known as "Jack of the Lantern", or Jack-o'Lantern. There are variations on the legend: Some versions include a "wise and good man", or even God helping Jack to prevail over the Devil. There are different versions of Jack's bargain with the Devil. Some variations say the deal was only temporary but the Devil, embarrassed and vengeful, refuses Jack entry to hell after Jack dies. Jack is considered a greedy man and is not allowed into either heaven or hell, without any mention of the Devil. Despite the colorful legends, the term jack-o'-lantern originally meant a night watchman, or man with a lantern, with the earliest known use in the mid-17th century; and later, meaning an ignis fatuus or will-o'-the-wisp. In Labrador and Newfoundland, both names "Jacky Lantern" and "Jack the Lantern" refer to the will-o'-the-wisp concept rather than the pumpkin carving aspect. Halloween costumes are outfits worn on or around October 31, the day of Halloween. Halloween is a modern-day holiday originating in the Pagan Celtic holiday of Samhain (in Christian times, the eve of All Saints Day). Although popular histories of Halloween claim that the practice goes back to ancient celebrations of Samhain, in fact there is little primary documentation of masking or costuming on Halloween before the twentieth century. Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in America in the early 1900s, as often for adults as for children. The first mass-produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1930s when trick-or-treating was becoming popular in the United States.
  5. 5. What sets Halloween costumes apart from costumes for other celebrations or days of dressing up is that they are often designed to imitate supernatural and scary beings. Costumes are traditionally those of monsters such as vampires, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. There are also costumes of pop culture figures like presidents, or film, television, and cartoon characters. Another popular trend is for women (and in some cases, men) to use Halloween as an excuse to wear particularly revealing costumes, showing off more skin than would be socially acceptable otherwise. record supports this theory. To the contrary, adults, as reported in newspapers from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s, typically saw it as a form of extortion, with reactions ranging from bemused indulgence to anger. Trick-or-Treating ( Trick or Treating ) Trick-or-Treating hasn’t always been a part of Halloween celebrations. In fact, Halloween has only been celebrated in the US for a relatively short time. Celebrating All Hallow’s Eve was a practice that came over to the US with the first large wave of immigrants who came from Ireland, England and Scotland. In some parts of these countries it was common for kids to go out “guising” on All Hallow’s Eve to beg for food, money or other items. People who refused to give anything would sometimes find chalk drawings on their doors the next morning or find they were the victims of other pranks. When immigrants came to the US they brought their traditions with them and on all All Hallow’s Eve each year in some immigrant communities it would be common to see small children, usually boys, with makeup or soot on their faces or wearing crude masks made from bags going around begging at different houses. At the beginning of the 20th century “guising” was still not very popular and most people didn’t really know what Halloween was. But by the early 1920s the young trendsetters were beginning to throw lavish Halloween parties and there was renewed interest in “guising”. Stores started selling premade costumes that people could wear to disguise themselves and indulge in a little good natured Halloween fun. During WWII Halloween celebrations were toned down due to sugar rationing and the generally somber mood of the nation. By the time the war was over and people started the mad exodus to build homes in the suburbs the celebration of Halloween had gotten popular. The 50s and 60s were the decades when Trick-or-Treating became the important Halloween ritual they are today. Trick-or-Treating became the focus of Halloween celebrations because going Trick-or-
  6. 6. Treating was seen as a wholesome activity for the whole family. Trick-orTreating also became popular in the 50s and 60s because that was when living in subdivisions and newly built suburban neighborhoods became popular. Trick-or-Treating remained popular through the 70s and 80s but by the 90s the practice of Trick-or-Treating began to change. Many different factors like the rise of people living in apartment buildings instead of free standing houses in suburban neighborhoods and the rise in non-traditional households contributed to the major changes that shaped Trick-or-Treating at the end of the 90s. In order to accommodate parents with busy schedules and in an effort to make Trick-or-Treating safer for kids it was moved largely indoors. Malls began to open for specific Trick-or-Treating events where kids in costume could go to different stores to receive candy and coupons. These structured Halloween events also usually feature games, activities, and clowns and other performers to make the event even more special. Many neighborhoods have also designated special Trick-orTreat hours to prevent a lot of Halloween mischief and help protect the safety of Trick-or-Treaters. Likewise, as portrayed on radio shows, children would have to explain what trick-or-treating was to puzzled adults, and not the other way around. Sometimes even the children protested: for Halloween 1948, members of the Madison Square Boys Club in New York City carried a parade banner that read "American Boys Don't Beg." Day Of The Dead: The Day of the Dead celebrations might seem to be very similar to Halloween. In both celebrations people dress up in costumes, there are a lot of skeletons everywhere, and there are special sweet treats and candies given out. Also people spend a lot of time in graveyards and death imagery is everywhere. But there are some big differences between the holiday that promotes fear of the dead and the holiday that celebrates the dead. The Day of the Dead holiday is about celebrating the dead, not being afraid of the dead. It €™ a s holiday for people to honor their ancestors and loved ones who have passed away and invite those spirits back into their homes to be part of the family once more. It €™ a celebration of family and a show of respect for s those who have passed away.
  7. 7. The practice of celebrating the dead goes back thousands of years in South American cultures. In the Aztec culture the celebration of the dead was in August and went on for a month. During that time the people paid tribute to Catrina, the Goddess of Death, who was portrayed as a skeleton. When the Catholic faith became entrenched in South America the festival of the dead was changed into the Day of the Dead and timed to coincide with All Saints Day and All Souls Day. November 1st and 2nd are national holidays in Mexico and other South American countries. During those days people welcome back the spirits of the family members that they have lost. They pay their respects to their loved ones by tending to their graves, cleaning up graveyards, planting flowers and trees, and leaving offerings at the graves. They also wear the clothes of their deceased relatives, paint their faces as skulls or wear skeleton masks and costumes, and build altars in their homes to honor their loved ones. Offerings of sweets, special bread, and the same foods and drinks that the family members loved in life will be placed on the altars along with marigolds to draw the spirits of the family members who have crossed over. Marigolds are said to attract spirits so they are visible everywhere during Day of the Dead celebrations. One of the most well known ways that people celebrate the Day of the Dead is to turn themselves into skeletons using elaborate makeup and masks. The skeletal appearance highlighted with flowers, bright colors and artwork is a striking image that has now become an icon of the Day of the Dead. These looks are based partly on the decorated sugar skulls that are left on altars as offerings to the spirits and partly on a piece of artwork called La Calavera Catrina. It €™ a zinc etching that was created at the s turn of the 20th century and is a depiction of the Goddess of Death wearing a very fancy hat with lots of flowers. That image has inspired over a hundred years worth of stunning sugar skull makeup

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