Why wear a Halloween costume, and other facts from the history of the holiday

Halloween-a celebration of superstitions to ward off people from evil spirits. It was created by the ancient Celts at the time when autumn passes into winter, and all life dies, or sinks into a long hibernation. The Celtic festival "Samhain" was too reminiscent of the traditions of modern Halloween: people lit fires and wore costumes ghosts. The ancient Celts believed that in this way protect themselves for the coming year from the encroachments of evil forces. Not complete without a symbolic sacrifice.
Then, in the 8th century, Pope Gregory III issued a decree that November 1 is declared a holiday in honor of all saints and martyrs. New celebration adopted many traditions of the festival "Samhain", but didn't get his usual name. Originally the holiday was named after St. eve. And after a time, Halloween had lost all secular elements and turned into a party held on the eve of the first day of November, becoming for the most part enjoyable and funny entertainment for kids and youth. A number of countries around the world reveres the traditions and the people living there from year to year to dress up in magnificent costumes and give each other sweet treats.

Ancient roots events

take a closer look at what constitutes the ancient Celtic festival of "Samhain". 2000 years ago the Celts inhabited the territory of modern Ireland, Britain and Northern France. At that time New year is celebrated November 1 in honor of the completion of the harvest, the end of warmer days and the transition to dark cold winter which was associated in people with death. The ancient Celts thought between the old and the new year the boundaries between the world of the living and the dead become blurred. It was believed that on the night of October 31 the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
the Celts were entirely agricultural nation, and the harvest in the region depended on the mercy of nature. Therefore, with the involvement of supernatural forces, the people hoped to learn from the spirits of weather predictions for the next year. To do this, the druids (wizards) kindled huge bonfires, where he convened all the other people who were sacrificed to the deities of crops and even livestock.
even then, people have come up with a costume, under which it was impossible to tell who is who. As costumes were made by the heads and skin of dead animals. However, at the end of the celebration all "armor" were also burned at the stake.

Now, as a symbolic sacrifice are the sweets. Did you know that in the United States for Halloween are sold by the fourth part of the annual sale of chocolates?

Further transformation of the festival

Later, when the Celtic peoples were conquered by the Roman Empire, two similar festival of the ancient Romans was combined with the festival of "Samhain". By the ninth century the influence of Christianity in the Celtic areas was so great that gradually began to replace the traditional rites and celebration. So, in the year 1000 the Church has established day November 2 as the feast of all souls. At the occasion were traditional processions and big fires, as well as the remains of the dressing. Only now people no longer put on the animal skins, and designed from fabric and scrap materials costumes of angels and demons.

As the holiday came to America

Originally, in colonial New England the holiday was not widespread because of the Protestant religious beliefs. The first state, which has won Halloween, is considered Maryland and adjacent to the southern colonies. These parts of the New world was inhabited by disparate European immigrants and American Indians, who brought their own vision of the model of celebration. So there were glowing pumpkins with holes in the eyes and mouth. During the feast, people danced and sang and told each other stories about the lives of the dead and of the mysterious reductions.

the Nineteenth century brought to the Americas a second wave of new immigrants, most of whom were natives of Ireland. It was they who popularized Halloween nationally. The Americans were forced to learn from the Irish and British tradition to dress up in costumes and knocking on other houses in search of food or money. This tradition is so ingrained that exists in the modern interpretation of Halloween as a fun pastime or grotesque.
Over time this festival evolved into neighbourly gatherings, and ghosts and witchcraft have faded into the background. Gradually the fun and joined children who were creative in designing grotesque costumes.

Traditions of today's Halloween

Modern mystical traditions and frightening costumes date back their roots to the English all souls ' day. Then the poor citizens begged for wealthy people food and cake, in exchange for the promise of praying for deceased family members home in which they knocked. Now this practice happy to use children to heartily feast on the treats in the form of cakes and chocolates.

the Tradition of dressing up in costumes

Hundreds of years ago, when the earth of the ancient Celts, winter was time of uncertainty and darkness, people never knew what to expect from the long winter and food supplies were often exhausted. In the evenings it was customary to take to the streets, but during Halloween, when spirits supposedly came back to earth, the Celtic peoples were forced to leave their homes to appease the ghosts. However, heading into the darkness to meet with the ghosts was scary, so people dressed up in costumes that would hide the figure and face.

Superstitions and divination associated with the celebration

To the friendly spirit was fed and happy, for it established a special place at the dinner table. The road from the table to the door, it was decided to shoot the lit candles. So dead relatives could find a way back to heaven. So on this day, the people met and accompanied deceased family members.
Halloween scary predictions was considered broken mirror and scattered salt. Also on this day, people tried not to step in cracks formed on roads. Scottish women wanted to know the name of his betrothed, and this was spread out hazelnuts on the grate. Each of the nuts symbolized someone's name. The nut that started to crackle and bounce, he revealed the name of her future husband.
In Ireland was a common ritual when a cook in a diner hiding a ring in mashed potatoes on Halloween night. The one who discovers the find, will acquire a love for life.