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The Past And Present Of Halloween

624 words - 3 pages

On the night of October 31 every year, millions of citizens across the United States and elsewhere dress up in costumes to walk down their local neighborhoods asking for candy or “trick-or-treating”. Strangely, Halloween was not always this way. In fact, the origins of Halloween had nothing to do with getting candy or scaring other people. In today’s society, commercialism keeps Halloween alive. Halloween accessories are in stores around September or earlier to encourage widespread purchases of various costumes and candies. In other cultures, there are spiritual celebrations that influenced modern American Halloween. Present Halloween has been influenced by spiritual celebrations of other cultures, historical events, and commercialism.
Halloween is derived from the Christian holiday All Hallows’ Eve, which is the day before the feast of All Hallows’ Day. This time is dedicated to mourning fallen saints and martyrs, or the dead in general. The practices of this could relate to other pagan rituals, particularly the Gaelic Samhain (All Hallows’ Eve). During both Samhain and All Hallows’ Day, bonfires would be lit in remembrance. Catholics and other cultures who joined in this believed that the dead were in an afterlife, hence they felt obliged to establish a time for commemoration. On May 13, 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church; however, according to a passage on history.com, “Pope Gregory III later expanded the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs, and moved the observance from May 13th to November 1st” (Halloween). In Mexican culture, they take part in “Dias de Los Muertos” or Day of The Dead. Here, celebrators do not feel depressed, instead they are happy to recollect memories of their ancestors. The décor usually involves skeleton heads painted with vibrant...

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