It’s October and do you know what is coming? Yes, Halloween! On 31 October every year the Halloween festival is celebrated all around the world. Now what is Halloween for and where does it come from?
Halloween first started back in the ancient era which is the pre-Christian Celtic festival of Samhain that was celebrated on the night of 31 October. The Celts believed that the dead will returned to Earth on Samhain. In order to appease the dead soul when they come out to hunt, people will light up bonfires, offer sacrifices and pay homage towards the deceased.
During the celebrations of Samhain, the villagers will dsguised themselves in costumes that is made of animal skins to drive away the spirits and they also prepare offerings for the unwelcome soul. Later on, people started to dress up in costumes such as demons and ghosts or any other creatures. This custom is thought to be the starter of trick -or-treating.
Poor people would visit of wealthy families and receives pastries called soul cakes in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of the homeowner’s dead relatives. In Scotland, young people took part in a tradition called guising and dressing up in costumes and accepting offering from different houses. They will sing a song, tell a joke or recite a poem before collecting their treat, which consisted fruits, nuts or coins.
On the day of Halloween the people who celebrate it (mostly kids) will go house to house for the ‘trick-or-treat’ tradition. The kids will ask for for food (candies or chocolate of course!) or money from the house owner. The ‘treat’ refers to some form of candy or in some cultures they use money instead. On the other ‘trick’ refers to a threat, usually by performing mischief on the house owner or on their property if no treat was given.
Usually trick-or-treating occurs on the evening of 31 October. The house owner will put Halloween’s decoration outside their house to show that they willing to give out treats. Besides, some of them just leave the treat available on their porches for the children to take freely.
(To be continue in Part 2)