Legend Of Halloween Essay

1529 words - 6 pages

Ghost, goblins, ghouls, witches, and monsters all come out on Halloween. Known for a time to go trick-or-treating, having festivals, bonfires, costume parties, visiting "haunted houses", viewing horror films, and going on haunted hayrides, Halloween is a time for the young or young at heart to dress-up and pretend to be the scariest things imaginable. However, Halloween was not always fun and games. The origins of Halloween date back over 2000 years to the ancient Celtics. Druidic priests regarded the day as the end of the year. Not only was it their day for celebrating the year's harvest, but October 31 itself was also the day of Samhain, a festival for honoring the dead. In order to appease the wandering spirits they believed roamed at night, the Celtic priests made fires in which they burned sacrifices, made charms, and cast spells. The following paper will take a closer look at the history, traditions, myths and folklore that surround one of the scariest nights of the year, Halloween.The History of HalloweenHalloween, as the holiday has become known today, originated from a festival called Samhain, meaning "Summer's End" and was believed to be a time when the world of the gods was made visible to humankind and tricks were played on man. Samhain was considered by the ancient Celts to be a dangerous time of year. The primary beliefs of Samhain are that the souls (disembodied spirits) of those who had passed before would return to walk the earth once more to visit their homes, possibly in search of family members. The Celts, out of superstitious beliefs, would take various measures to protect themselves from these disembodied spirits. Bonfires would be set on hilltops in hopes of frightening away evil spirits, and people would dress up, wear masks, and disguises to keep from being recognized by the disembodied spirits and therefore, be left alone. It was through this belief that witches, monsters, and demons came in to practice especially during our current versions of Halloween.The Catholic ChurchIt was during the 7th century that the Catholic Church took an interest in trying to Christianize what was considered to be a Pagan holiday. All Saints' Day initially on May 13 was moved just prior to November 1st which is the date that Samhain was celebrated becoming a Holy Day or Hallowed Eve which later became Halloween. During the American Colonization Halloween was literally forbidden among the colonists, until later during the 1900's when Irish immigrants began arrived in America. The Irish immigrants brought their Halloween customs along with them becoming much of what Halloween tradition are today.Myths of HalloweenHalloween is a time of where little kids and some big kids get dressed up in costumes and go from house to house to gather candy but is that the real meaning behind it. People decorate their homes some even go as far as to making their yards in to graveyards or haunted houses, but ever wonder how the Jack-O-Lantern became part of the...

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