Halloween , the holiday of witches,vampires, werewolves, ghosts and all creatures of the night! During this
festival, like Mardi Gras, we dress but not how we usually do ! Whether it's a
simple sheet to disguise as a ghost or with a full range of props to become a
zombie or a witch, Halloween is an opportunity to go out into the street and be
characters that we can't be any other day of the year ! Plus it's a good time
to collect candy , with the famous sentence " Trick or Treat! " that
children shout to their neighbours when they come to harvest goodies . This
festival is so famous and popular that the theme was echoed by many cartoons
and animated films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack, created by the
Disney studio in association with Tim Burton, where Jack lives in Halloween
countries, where it is traditional to cast spells and provide tricked gifts every
year. Maybe you also know the series of Monster High, living in a world where
one would think that Halloween happens every day! Anyway , Halloween is a
holiday that goes back to the Celtic traditions of the Druids , at a time when
the New Year was celebrated on November 1st. People believed that on the night
of October 31 to November 1, the boundary between the world of the dead and the
living collided, allowing the dead to cross over to the living. Of course this
is only a legend, but nowadays there are fun activities you can enjoy during
this period , such as carving pumpkins and light up a candle , wear terrifying
masks and makeup to look like a zombie or a ghost pirate, and especially
harvest and eat candy ! And of course this is a good time to color witches,
cats, black or not, pumpkins, ghosts, zombies or even haunted mansions ! Let's
talk about your imagination through scenes that are offered to you here and
have fun choosing the best colors for these unique designs ! With these images
you can patiently wait for the time to come out and say the famous " Trick
or Treat! " that all children celebrating Halloween say that day !
The origin of Halloween
We have been celebrating Halloween for almost 2,000 years. Its origins are numerous, as are the legends around it.
The Celtic calendar at the time began on November 1st. The New Year's celebrations were held during meals where products grown during the summer season were in the spotlight. The flocks were brought back to the stables, and the sun was thanked for the products grown.
Celts and Gauls
The Celts called this celebration "Samhain", which means "the end of summer." The Celts were also known as Gauls. The Celts believed that on the night of October 31 to November 1st, the souls of the deceased revisited their former home. During this first night, a rigorous ceremony was performed. The Celts believed that this ceremony assured them a good year.
In the evening, the fire of the hearth of each Celtic home was out and at night, the Gauls gathered around the Druids who were suffocate the sacred fire of the altar. They then rubbed dry branches from a sacred oak until a new fire was lit. This honored the God of the Sun and scared evil spirits. Then, each family went back to their home with red embers to light a new fire that would burn until the next fall ritual. This new fire was believed to protect the family for the whole year ahead.
The Gauls were the richest and most numerous of the Celtic peoples. Their dominion was such that the Greeks and Romans called them Celts-Gauls. The Gallic year ended at the end of the summer, the precise day that today corresponds to October 31st.
On November 1st, in the year 900, the Catholic Church created a new religious holiday called All Saints' Day. This celebration highlights the importance of all saints as its name suggests it. All Saints' Day can also be found called All Hallows' Day and the day before, October 31st, is All Hallowed Even, hence its transformation into Halloween.
The Irish, who are of Celtic descent, somewhat changed the tradition around the year 1600. They would place an empty turnip with a candle inside and to dissuade evil spirits from coming to their homes, they carved grimacing faces on the vegetable! The children also contributed to this hunt for spirits. They went from door to door asking for offerings for the deceased and if a person refused, it was said that she was likely to be the victim of nasty tricks!
Irish immigration to Canada and the United States has meant that the Halloween tradition has spread to all of North America. That's when the pumpkin replaced the turnip, and the offerings to the children were in the form of candies instead.
Why a pumpkin ?
At the time of Samhain, turnips or beetroot were emptied to be carved in the shape of skulls, placed on roadsides or near cemeteries. The Irish that immigrated in the United States used pumpkins as an alternative as they were more abundant.
The custom of turnips, celeriacs or hollowed pumpkins was intended to frighten the spirits. But it is also related to the legend of Jack O'Lantern, a man condemned to wander eternally between hell and paradise, because neither God nor the Devil wanted him. He lit up with a torch placed in a turnip. The turnip has been gradually replaced by a pumpkin, in which one places a candle.
The collection of candies
On October 31st, the children disguise themselves and invade the streets to knock on doors and ask for treats. The little ones shout "Trick or treat!" which means "Candy or bad luck!"The spell is the equivalent of a joke, but it also refers to the evil gods, players of tricks, Anglo-Saxon mythology.
In Quebec, the custom dates back at most to the years 1920-1930 and probably began in the Montreal area at the initiative of English-speaking Quebecers. It was not until the 1960s and 1970s that it really took hold in regions with a large francophone majority.
The homes that participate in the celebration decorate the door of an illuminated pumpkin to indicate that children are welcome. In recent years, the festival has been generating a growing craze and inspires more and more people to create horror decorations in front of houses.
Ghosts, witches and vampires
The strength of the darkness of Samhain was represented by a series of more or less evil spirits. This is the origin of the various monsters associated with Halloween. Hence the presence of many ghosts and vampires at this festivity. As for the skeletons, they certainly originated from the relics of venerated saints the following day.
And the witches? They are healers who lived in the Middle Ages. Not getting any money for their services, they disguised themselves as ugly old ladies to go see the people they had treated to find out if they deserved their care. Because of their "powers" of healing and their frightening look, they were attributed evil powers.