Worldly Wednesdays: Halloween around the World

October 6, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

`”Halloween was originally a pagan holiday celebrated by Celtic people and born from the pagan holiday “Samhain”.

Samhain is a holiday that celebrates the dark season of the Celtic year.   Samhain was celebrated three days before and three days after November 1st although there were no carved pumpkins nor trick or treating. People had a lantern made out of a turnip. The celebration was strictly observed by the whole society and gave the opportunity to every barbarian to eat, drink and have fun.  Gallic people also celebrated this holiday; which was called “Samonios”. Samonios has been replaced in Gallic countries by Christian celebrations.

Over the centuries, continental Europe converted to Christianity and abandoned Samonios in favour of All Saints Day and Samhain became All Hallow’s Eve.  However, the Halloween that we currently celebrate has nothing in common with Samhain.

Halloween and All Saints Day are still interrelated because Halloween means “The Night Before the Feast of All Saints” and “All Hallow’s Day” is our Continental All Saints Day.  All Hallow’s Eve; which evolved during the Christianization of European populations, was imported in America by European colonists and the current Halloween holiday was created by the Irish emigrants.

Here are some countries which celebrate Halloween:
Belguim-  Belgian people celebrate Halloween since more than ten years but Gouy-Lez-Pieton refuses to adopt it, preferring to celebrate their own Samhain-style holiday. Even if Belgian people organize a Day Before Christmas dinner, they still offer gifts to children on December 6th and not on December 25th. So, I doubt that my country will replace All Saints Day by Halloween.

France- French people think that this holiday is too commercial and while this country finally adopted Halloween in the late 1990s, it is now less appreciated. There are very few children ringing at the doors and asking for sweets.

UK- English people celebrate the Guy Fawkes Day on November 5th and adopted many customs from Samhain. These festivities are marked by torchlight parades where children use masks made from beets and pumpkins.

Scotland- The Scots still practice their ancient pagan rites. Children wear costumes and cut scary faces into large rutabagas and place a candle inside them. They receive candy when they provide a nice entertainment to their neighbours.

Ireland- Trick or treating originated in Ireland, so as usual, Irish children in disguise will enjoy the Halloween festivities, they will carry lanterns cut into large rutabagas. Children will be received by their neighbours with sweets and Irish houses will be decorated with Halloween lights.

Spain- Spanish people enjoy the Halloween holiday. Their kids will enjoy receiving candies from their neighbours and adults will have the opportunity to have a Halloween party in each and every club. Spanish people also organize many Halloween parades.

Portugal- Portugal does not celebrate Halloween; Portuguese people celebrate the Day of the Dead by organizing feasts at the cemetery.

Italy- Some regions of Italy organize Halloween Events, but its a regional celebration.

USA- Of course, we here in the US love our Halloween.  How will you be celebrating this year?

Live Creatively!

Article Source: Associatedcontent.com

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized, Worldly Wednesdays. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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