lanterns, vampires and haunted houses. But do you know the origin of Halloween? Why does it fall on 31 October? What kind of festival is it? Why is it so creepy?
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For thousands of years people have been celebrating different holidays and festivals at the end of October. The Celts celebrated it as Samhain (pronounced “sow-in”, with “sow” rhyming with cow)。 The Irish English dictionary published by the Irish Texts Society defines the word as follows:
“Samhain, All Hallowtide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signalizing the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season, lasting till May, during which troops (esp. the Fiann) were quartered. Faeries were imagined as particularly active at this season. From it the half year is reckoned. also called Feile Moingfinne (Snow Goddess)。(1) The Scottish Gaelis Dictionary defines it as ”Hallowtide. The Feast of All Soula. Sam + Fuin = end of summer.“(2) Contrary to the information published by many organizations, there is no archaeological or literary evidence to indicate that Samhain was a deity. The Celtic Gods of the dead were Gwynn ap Nudd for the British, and Arawn for the Welsh. The Irish did not have a ”lord of death“ as such.
Do you know Halloween? I think with the increasing of international communication, most people must be familiar with it. It has become one of the most popular festivals inEurope. It falls on the last day of October. People will celebrate it from the midnight of October, 31 to November first.
At first, it is celebrated to praise autumn. So it falls on the late autumn. It also has another legend. Since a long time ago, Halloween has been connected with the ghosts. People consider that the ghosts who have no home to go will go out for food on the night of October, 31. No matter this story is true or not, people will feel afraid only hearing it. So they decide to have celebration on that day. They will light up lights to frighten the ghosts.
However, after a long time, Halloween become the day mainly for kids. Every Halloween children will put on strange masks and frightening costumes. Most children will make themselves become the monster or hero in the movie or legend that they like. When they finish the make up, they will carry bags from house to house to play the game, “Trick or treat”. The adults will put the treat candy into their bags. Thus, Halloween is the most favorable festival for children.
Not only the kids like the festival, but also some grown-ups love it. They will join parties after making up. This brings them the satisfaction of being young. How about you? Do you love it?