THE HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN
It is said that the celebration of Halloween first began around 2000 years ago with the Celts. Celtic people celebrated their New Year on November 1st, which marked the start of winter and the end of the summer and autumn’s harvests.
This cold dark time of the year was associated with death anyway but the night before New Year was supposed to be a time when the worlds of the living and the dead actually merged in to one.
Celebrations were held on this night to keep the spooky ones happy and to stop hauntings in the upcoming year. This Celtic celebration was called Samhain.
This pagan celebration developed throughout the years and the Christian Church found that it could not stop it. People seemed to be very superstitious and scared of the dead and wanted to keep their lost loved ones quiet!
The word Halloween has evolved from the word “hallowed”, which means holy. The night of the dead used to be known as All Hallows Eve.
Halloween as we know it today has evolved out of many traditions, customs and ancient beliefs from all over the world, all rolled in to one. We do not just appease dead people now but other nasties such as werewolves, vampires, witches and monsters.
The worry of these nasty creatures has not passed with time and people are just as scared now as they ever were!
TRICK OR TREAT?
In the old days children in many countries of the world were given treats so as to appease the spirits on All Hallows Eve.
People in ancient Ireland were known to have gone from door to door performing dances, songs and other such entertainment in exchange for beer and food.
The trick or treat tradition is perhaps biggest in North America although it is spreading to other countries.
Children (and some teens and adults too) dress up and go from door to door to receive treats. It was the custom for children to have to perform a trick in order to get their treat and some children still do this but some other people decide to cause mischief if a treat is not offered in the first place!
Many people associate the eerie smiling face of a Jack O’Lantern with Halloween. Pumpkins are in abundance in the winter season. After the inside has been scooped out to make pumpkin pie or soup, the empty gourd is ideal to carve in to a scary face and put in the window with a candle inside it to frighten away the evil demons that wander the earth on Halloween night!
In Europe it is sometimes the custom to hold a party for Halloween although at this time of year there are some other celebrations and parties for events such as Guy Fawkes Night. Many of these traditions have melded in to one and it is hard to know what tradition is really for which event.
Halloween parties were sometimes held where children would have to participate in silly games such as dunking for apples, diving for doughnuts or dipping for sweets. Scary stories would be told and goodie bags given out.
These silly games were probably originally invented to mimick the mischief of the spooks.
Because there have been so many scary movies and books throughout the years there are many different party themes and in some countries and cultures, Halloween is now really just an excuse to hold another party!
Some people hold an annual scary party for charity; there are spooky video parties; some hold dance Halloween parties; some restaurants offer Halloween themed dining; some children go trick or treatingŠ there is no end to the ways that All Hallows Eve is celebrated.
SOME OF THE GAMES PLAYED AT A HALLOWEEN TRIBE CAST PARTYŠ
Apple dunking:- put some apples in a large tub of water. Put a blindfold on two people and make them attempt to pick an apple out of the water with their teeth! Watch out, you will get wet!
Diving for doughnuts:- Doughnuts are tied on a piece of string and the blindfolded person has to catch one in his or her teeth without using their hands. This makes for a very sticky sugary face!
Dipping for sweets:- Sweets or candies are hidden in a shallow dish full of flour. The blindfolded victim has to pull the sweets out with their teeth and the end result is a ghostly looking competitor!
Scary stories with a twist:- bowls of jelly, cold spaghetti, chicken legs, rice pudding, etc are placed under a blanket. Lights are turned out and a spooky story is told. People have to place their hands under the blanket and feel the contents of the bowls as the story is being told. The poor people get the fright of their lives when they think they might have their fingers in some guts or eyeballs!
The cast dressed up as their favourite scary character and danced the night away after eating some spooky theme food amidst the cobwebs and witches hats!