The festival of Halloween is greatly celebrated across American culture, other western European nations, even spread of former commonwealth colonies and Christian colonies of indo china. Halloween actually has a very scary theme to it as it is celebrated in winters, with people showing generosity out of fear, telling horror stories, not walking under leaning ladder, not to a crossroad after black cat cuts it are some of the famous themes of Halloween. Also not to mention the trips to haunted houses, the famous trick or treating which also has the theme of ‘you have to give out of fear’.
Now many people wonder where this bizarre tradition could have started from. Well to settle this curiosity they have to head to the ancient culture of Celtics who lived around 200 years ago and had major indo- European tribal population settled along with entire Europe (barring Scandinavia). The Samhain festival had similarity with the mask-wearing tradition and bonfires are clear symbol off scaring off ghosts that lied between season swap from winter to summer amidst lack of food. This notion of fighting with death was associated with fighting for their crops, sending spirits back to where they came from, and helping out priests to tell future better about rain, cyclones, or any related environmental mishaps. Priests had a very strong handheld belief that ghosts helped them figure out the future better.
Celtics believed in sacrifice to ghosts to get their blessings for prospering of the community so they wore the skin of cows, oxen, etc. that were lit ablaze. This costume bore the foundation for later Halloween costumes. The day of Halloween to be chosen as 31st October has an interesting story behind it which is that Celtics used to celebrate 1st November as New Year day. It primarily happened because a change of summer to winter was seen as a swap from life to death made sense as a demarcation point.
Territorial expansion of Romans on Celtics land and cross fusion of cultures meant deviancies in original celebration of the festival as it has been noted generally how festivities change their original intended meaning. Apple also holds centrality to this festival which was because of the mixing of the roman goddess revering festival. She symbolized the environment and harmony. Then religious superseding by the rise of Catholicism led this festival as a much more popular festival with exactly the same type of celebration as above which led to the modern version of Halloween in very old times.
In the colonial America Protestantism ( liberalism) refuted such practices as a juvenile and didn’t carry on these traditions, but slaves in southern colonies(which represented Catholicism) mixed with cultures of European migrants and aboriginals gave the current ‘American ’ flavor to Halloween. Irish traditions of pumpkin have given its own edge to the festival and are responsible single-handedly for shaping modern version more than any other. The whole thing like wearing different outfits is the gift of the industrial revolution, cotton-based colonialism and British marketing. Parties, mischiefs, and generosity are all black cultural intricacies. As the festival finally moved up in north Protestantism cut the ghostly vibe of this festival and made it community-oriented thus even children started taking part in it and the whole party theme to it came into play. After the counter culture in 1960’s came the sexy theme of Halloween and fantasy outfits for both genders in the form of superheroes for guys and uniforms etc. for women.
One of the most identifiable phrases on the face of earth finds its roots in people giving food in England to avoid ‘tricks ‘by ghosts and wearing costumes to avoid street encounters with ghosts. This tradition is still followed by kids that scare people for tricks and asks for a treat. Women also followed many sub rituals during this time to get to know their future husbands since it was said to be an appropriate time to tell the future. Kids can dress up as almost everything from superheroes to table to chair to anything of cultural relevance from history, present or possible future. Women can be anyone from penguins, career women (like nurses, police, etc.) to anything of cultural importance right now to any historical figure.
Food for Halloween has been an ever-changing dossier from European -African – aboriginal cuisine mixture and thus has the stable distribution of American fat, European –Afro-American carbohydrates, and American protein in non- vegetarian barbeques.
Thus have fun this season with Halloween and bask in the history of the popular festival that has been named as the second most economically profitable festival in American history.