Halloween This year too, the Halloween night is coming; every child is buying a new custom, every family is preparing the treats. But,what is Halloween? Halloween is a holiday that has ancient Celtic origins,infact they already, 2000 years ago,celebrated a fest on 31th of October called Samhain that rappresented the end of their year.
Although they were farmers,the beginning of new year coincided with the bad season. All this commemorated a bad atmosphere caused by death of nature and this is the reason why Halloween is generally associated with sad thems.
During the VIII century the Pope Gregorio III moved the celebration of “Ognisanti” on the 1th of November to converge the two festes. Like all others pagans festes nowadays Halloween became a business. Infact it is no more a folklore fest but only a business fest. 31st October night English and American children,usually,masquerade themselves with terrible disguises which generally contribute to Create a scary scenery.
Typical of the Halloween festival.
They go around knocking at the doors and asking “trick or treat?”. It’s a modern practice that derives from old traditions: disguised children ask house to house sweets or coins; if they don’t receive anything, they can play a trick to owners,like emptying the dubstin in the garden or attaching cans to the cars exhaust pipes.
There are different versions about the origin of this custom. According to one of these,it was born during middle ages,when poor people and farmers used to beg door to door during the day of Hallowmas,to prepare themselves to harsh winter, promising gifts prayers for their dead people.
Other legends say that it draws its own origins from European traditions,known as “soiling”, that consisted in wandering from a village to another one by first Christian people,asking a bit of “soul’s bread”, a square pudding with raisins; they promised a prayer for their dead relatives for every piece of cake received.
Other people substation that ,during the night of “Samiahain”, the fairies used to play some dangerous tricks to human people to make them lose in the “fairies hills”, where they remained trapped. The celts offered them food and milk that left on their steps home to gain their favour.
According to other fables, during the night of all Hallowas ,it was beloved that dead’s souls wandered house to house; people feared them and used to prepare great tables to ingratiate these spirits. If they didn’t offer a good hospitality,they were punished with curses and bad jokes.
From these ancient times the practice of “Trick or Treat” widely diffused, becoming a loved custom especially among children.
For this reason,since 1950, UNICEF has promoted a fund-raising program that involves the distribution of small orange boxes by schools to trick-or-treaters, in return of wich they can ask some donations from the houses that they visit.
This program is considerably expanded, raising over $188 million worldwide.