The traditional Halloween festival is celebrated on October 31 every year. The day is currently celebrated in almost all countries of the world. But in the western world, Halloween is celebrated with a little more grandeur. This festival is surrounded by various preparations and events.
The history of this spooky festival is more than 2000 years old. Many people think that this day may be celebrated as a ghost. In fact, the day is observed to commemorate the departed souls. The word Halloween originated around 1745. It originated in the Christian community. The word Halloween’ or ‘Halloween’ comes from the Scottish word ‘All Hallows’ Eve’. The word Halloween means ‘holy evening or holy evening’. There is a great story behind why the day is called holy evening.
Over time, the word ‘Hallow’s Eve’ was transformed into ‘Halloween’. The main theme of the Halloween festival is ‘to face the power of death through humor and mockery’. About 2000 years ago, Celtic people lived in present day Ireland, England and Northern France. The first day of November was celebrated by them as New Year or ‘Sah-win’. They thought it was the end of summer and darkness or the beginning of winter.
Surprisingly, the Celtic nation believed that the night of the last day of October was the worst. The night that all ghosts and unsatisfied spirits can harm people. And so members of the Celtic nation wore various types of ghost masks and clothes on this night.
They used to go around together in a circle wearing masks and chanting mantras to pass the sleepless night. And in the course of time, the ‘Sah-win’ festival of the Celtic nation is currently being celebrated as the ‘Halloween’ festival. There are many myths about Halloween night.
One such popular myth is that on this night the god Saman called all the dead souls to earth. A Halloween witch flies across the sky on a flying broom. Sometimes he knocks on the doors of different houses.
However, Halloween is celebrated differently in each country. For example, Germans believe that on Halloween night the unsatisfied spirits of the dead descend to earth. So they hid all the knives and scissors this night. Berlin’s Halloween costume party is famous for its earth pairs.
Halloween celebrations in the Czech Republic are quite different from other countries. On this day and night, next to the fireplace of the house, chairs are arranged for each deceased member of the family and everyone goes to sleep. They believe that on Halloween night, the spirits of deceased members come down and spend some time with the family.
This festival in Japan is ‘Festival of Hungry Ghosts’. However, the ghost festival in Japan is not in October-November, but throughout the summer. At this time, the Japanese kept the fire burning all night. At this time, rows of red paper or glass lanterns are decorated on both sides of the road.
Again in Austria from 30th October to 8th November ‘All Souls Week’ is celebrated in Austria. This one week Austrians go to sleep with food and water on the table for the dead souls of their ancestors. Then All Saints Day is celebrated in the evening of November 1. On this day, respect is paid to the loved ones of the family at the cemetery.