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Halloween & its part in American culture | Halloween Day

History of Halloween

Why is Halloween Celebrated

The festival of Halloween is greatly celebrated across American culture, other western European nations, even spread of former common wealth colonies and Christian colonies of indo china. Halloween actually has 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 cross road after black cat cuts it are some of famous themes of Halloween. Also not to mention the trips to haunted houses, the famous trick or treating which also has 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 ancient culture of Celtics who lived around 200 years ago and had major indo- European tribal population settled along 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 very strong hand held belief that ghosts helped them figuring out future better.

How did Halloween Start

Celtics believed in sacrifice to ghosts to get their blessings for prospering of community so they wore 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 change of summer to winter was seen as swap from life to death made sense as demarcation point.

Halloween and USA

Territorial expansion of romans on Celtics land and cross fusion of cultures meant deviancies in original celebration of 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 mixing of roman goddess revering festival. She symbolized environment and harmony. Then religious superseding by rise of Catholicism led this festival as much more popular festival with exactly same type of celebration as above which led to modern version of Halloween in very old times.

When did Trick or Treating Start

In the colonial America Protestantism ( liberalism) refuted such practices as 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 festival and are responsible single handedly for shaping modern version more than any other. The whole thing like wearing different outfits is gift of industrial revolution, cotton based colonialism and British marketing. Parties, mischiefs and generosity are all black culture 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 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 form of superheroes for guys and uniforms etc. for women.

Trick or Treat

One of most identifiable phrases on face of earth finds its roots in people giving food in England to avoid ‘tricks ‘by ghost and wearing costumes to avoid street encounters with ghosts. This tradition is still followed by kids that scare people for tricks and asks for 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 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 any one from penguins, career woman (like nurse, police etc.) to anything of cultural importance right now to any historical figure.

What does Trick or Treat Mean

Food for Halloween has been an ever changing dossier from European -African – aboriginal cuisine mixture and thus has 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.

Posted on October 30, 2017 by NAH
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