Trick or Treat?

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Less than in 5 days, pumpkins will be everywhere. Ghosts and witches, zombies and their creators. You sure know now what we are talking about – Halloween 2021 – the spookiest time of the year.

It’s time to start preparing to celebrate. It’s not that common to present gifts, but well, why not.

Halloween is an evening when you can imagine that all these spirits and ghosts exist, although no one is seriously afraid of them.

But no matter what people do on Halloween, no matter how they laugh at superstitions, are there many who want to walk alone on Halloween night in the cemetery? Some of us are afraid of black cats, someone believes in other signs – just in case. What if…

Let’s dig in and see what Halloween is all about. What to wear, what to buy, and what superstitions to believe.

When it begins?

The history of Halloween began 2000 years ago when Celtic tribes lived in what is now England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and Northern France.

It is not surprising, because England to this day retains the name of the most mystical place on earth.

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In addition, the Celts also worshipped the Sun god. For the Sun to be their good ally and contribute to a rich harvest for the next year, as well as to help strengthen the Sun’s power for its coming fight against the cold winter and dark forces, the Celts lit huge bonfires on the hills and made generous sacrifices to the Sun god on November 1. This day was the beginning of the Celtic New Year.

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At about the same time, on November 1, festivities were held in ancient Rome in honour of the goddess of fertility Pomona. She was portrayed as a beautiful girl with fruits in her hands, wearing a crown of apples on her head. The Romans staged various games and horse races at this time, danced, generously treated themselves to apples and nuts.

When the Romans conquered the Celtic tribes in the territory of modern France, they brought their customs with them. Thus, the Pomona festival and Celtic traditions intermingled, and the result was a big fall festival that continued to be celebrated on November 1st.

In the Middle Ages, the “Day of All Saints” was appointed for November 1 – on this day, all the saints who did not have their special days during the year were honored. It was not by chance that the Church chose November 1 for this holiday – thus it hoped to put an end to the pagan rituals and traditions that came from antiquity. This holiday was called “All Saints’ Day” or “All Hallows ’Day”.

But no matter how much the clergy would like the ancient traditions to disappear into oblivion, they remain. People in many countries continue to celebrate All Saints’ Eve. It became known as “All Hallows Even” and was gradually shortened to “Halloween”. While November 1 became the day for religious thought and church service, the evening before continued to be the time for magic and superstition.

Samhain

It is worth mentioning another important pagan festival of the Celts – Samhain. Translated from Old Irish, Samhain means “end of summer”, which eventually became the Irish name for November.

The year was divided into two parts by the Celts: dark (winter) and light (summer). The darkest period of the year was thought to begin in late October or early November. The harvest was also coming to an end at the same time. As a result, Samhain marked the end of one agricultural year and the start of another. It was observed for seven days, beginning on October 31 and ending on November 1, as well as three days before and three days following.

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All of the peoples of the British Isles commemorated Samhain. Many historians argue that the celebration was not only associated with agriculture and the seasons, but also with death and the supernatural.

The situation begins to change dramatically with the arrival of Christianity. Pagan Samhain progressively spills over into Christian All Saints Day, which creates the origins of future Halloween, as a result of the interpenetration of Gaelic traditions with Catholic rites in the 8th century.

Halloween and Christianity

In large part, Samhain did not disappear, but smoothly “migrated” into Christian traditions under Pope Gregory I. He converted them to Christianity. The Pope’s plan was to contribute to the Christianization of northern Europe. The Catholic Church celebrates All Saints’ Day on November 1st annually as well, so by the 8th century, Samhain had become synonymous with it. In an interesting twist, communication with the spirits of the dead was not considered taboo from a religious perspective on this day. The ideas of Samhain once again shift toward dark pagan symbols associated with death two hundred years later, in the writings of Christian monks at the turn of the XII century.

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In spite of this, Gregory I’s policy yielded fruit and found expression in the development of two holidays within the Christian context – Samhain and Halloween. Halloween is still known as O*che Samhna and Oidhche Samhna in Gaelic-speaking areas of Ireland and Scotland. Catholics celebrate All Faithful Day on the day after All Saints Day. On the first Sunday after Trinity Sunday, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates All Saints Day. Halloween is considered a pagan holiday by the Russian Orthodox Church, meaning people are taught to pay homage to evil spirits, which is totally opposed to Christian ideals.

The holiday is not taken in hostility by all Christians. In some Protestant churches, Halloween is celebrated in commemoration of the Reformation, which coincides with Halloween. Anglican, Protestant, and Catholic priests encourage their parishes to celebrate Halloween because it is such a fun event for children. Children dressed as witches and vampires once a year should receive candy for wearing such costumes, says this group.

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On the eve of All Saints Day, the devil was said to lead all forces of evil to commit or prepare all kinds of crimes and mischief in order to bring evil down on the people the night before the feast. The Ardennes Forest in France, Mount Brocken in Germany, and Blocksberg in Sweden were all places where bad spirits congregated. Every ruined abbey in England, as well as the ruins of an old church or monument, may serve as a meeting site for them. As a result, Halloween incorporates a number of traditions, including Catholic observances on All Saints Day and pagan customs that date back to the ancient Celts and Romans. From the first came the respect of the deceased and their spirits; from the Pomona feast, apples, nuts, and other symbols of a plentiful harvest; and from the Celts, goblins, magic, fortune telling, and future prediction, as well as black cats and malevolent spirits. This is no longer a religious celebration, but rather a time to have a good time and mock superstitions.

Halloween attributes.

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Today, the evening of October 31 for millions of children, means this: “Trick or Treat?” Children and adolescents, but what is it, adults also like to fool around, dressed in costumes and cloaks, masks and wigs of witches, ghosts, vampires and other very or not very scary characters, go from house to house in the neighbourhood and receive different sweets, sweets, putting them in their bags. At the same time, they ask the owner who opened the door: “Trick or Treat?” – the meaning of this is something like “Life or wallet?” – that is, if the owner does not give them something (treat), they will play a cruel joke with him (trick).

In general, Halloween is celebrated all over the world, but the global holiday is dedicated to it mainly in the USA, Europe and Canada.

Often in the yards, on the porch or the windowsills in many houses, you can see pumpkins with carved eyes and a mouth, inside which a candle is burning (although, however, there are also a light bulb) These pumpkins can be a little more terrifying or a little funnier, depending on the wishes of the owner. They can be both plastic and real – pumpkin. There are even special knives for carving “on the pumpkin”, if you want to enjoy the process of carving – so on to your health!

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These pumpkins also have their history. We will get back on them later.

Home decoration

Of course, houses are decorated with pumpkins, but that’s not all. Why decorate a house at all and spend a lot of time and money on it. The fact is that according to an ancient belief, at night on October 31, the door to the other world was opened and all sorts of “monsters” penetrated the earth. People dressed up in terrible costumes so that the evil spirits took them for their own and did not harm. By the way, researchers find a completely rational explanation for the traditions of the holiday.

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Therefore, the scarier the house, the less likely it is to be visited by spirits. Moreover, it is also exciting and has become one of the most important traditions. Neighbors often compete among themselves who will decorate the house better and scare more people. Well, we cannot but agree that if you get a chance to plunge into the world of magic and magic once a year, you need to do it one hundred percent.

But they decorate the house not only outside, but also inside. Therefore, dishes in the mystical style, or with the image of the main villains, will ideally complement the ensemble.

Costumes

As in the case of the house, people dress up so as not to attract evil spirits to themselves. But now this is a chance to feel like someone else. Someone prepares a suit for a whole year, thinking over the smallest details, and someone wraps themselves in toilet paper and makes a mummy of themselves.

Among the most popular costumes are witches, vampires, zombies, werewolves, skeletons, devils, ghosts and bats. In Russia, our native evil spirits were added to this: kikimors and goblin. The release of The Lord of the Rings movie expanded the Halloween palette with orcs, trolls and Nazguls. With the advent of the Harry Potter saga, the Voldemorts, Death Eaters and Dementors appeared in pubs and clubs. There are also original ideas – for example, the horsemen of the Apocalypse or the Seven Deadly Sins. Most often they dress up as heroes of popular TV series or films.

Trick or treat?

Poor people in England and Ireland went door-to-door on Saints’ Day, begging for so-called “spiritual cakes” in exchange for praying for the souls of their departed relatives. As a symbol that they were produced as charity, these pastries were frequently imprinted with a cross.

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According to historians, the term “trick-or-treat” was first used in the United States in the 1930s and only became popular in the 1940s. Long before that, though, the occurrence had become synonymous with Halloween. About the 16th century, the practice of dressing up as evil spirits and walking around the neighbourhood begging for sweets from neighbours began.

According to historians, the term “trick-or-treat” was first used in the United States in the 1930s and only became popular in the 1940s. Long before that, though, the occurrence had become synonymous with Halloween. About the 16th century, the practice of dressing up as evil spirits and walking around the neighbourhood begging for sweets from neighbours began. As a result, they were able to drive out bad spirits from their houses. The boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead was thought to have been obliterated on November 1st, allowing malevolent spirits to freely wander the planet. As a result, humans attempted to frighten away bad spirits or impersonate them in order to avoid damage. Of course, this ceremony has long since lost its esoteric component and has become mere child’s play, with the most that youngsters can do if they are denied sweets being to throw eggs or toilet paper into your house.

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Divination for Halloween

This custom has faded into the past, although it is still recalled from time to time. Various forms of fortune-telling have long been practiced on Halloween. In Scotland, for example, fortune telling using an apple peel was highly popular. The girls flung the peel off the apples over their shoulders, attempting to preserve it as long as possible. The falling peel was thought to have taken the shape of the initial letter of the prospective spouse’s surname.

Another windfall stated that a girl in a dark house had to walk up the stairs with her back to the door, holding a light in her hands. After that, the fortuneteller had to hold a candle in front of a mirror, which allowed her to glimpse her future spouse but also her death. Another technique to determine the betrothed’s fortunes is to eat a piece of herring at night, then go to bed without drinking anything. In a dream, whomever delivers a cup of water will be the one to walk down the aisle.

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Of course, no Halloween celebration is complete without the appearance of ghosts. Someone picks up the Ouija board, and the bravest of them conjures Bloody Mary. According to an ancient English tradition, saying this name three times in a dark room in front of a mirror would reflect the ghost of a frightening ghost of a lady.

Bloody Mary is most commonly linked with a genuine historical character, Queen of England Mary I Tudor, who earned the moniker for her brutal manner of administration and retaliation against political foes.

As you can see, Halloween has a long and fascinating history that takes us back to the time of the Celts, Druids, and Witches. Today, not only in the United States and Western Europe, but also in many other nations, including Russia, this holiday is extensively observed. Many cities celebrate with parties, carnivals, joyful processions, and other entertainment activities on this day. From scary zombies and vampires to fairytale fairies, elves, and characters from comic books and TV shows, the streets are brimming with fascinating figures. Have you made up your mind on who you’ll be this year?

Films

Of course, to maintain the atmosphere, themed films are often put in the background or for viewing. As well as with legends, the number of films about Halloween is growing by leaps and bounds. Remakes of old films are being filmed, but there is a unique classic. Something that, at just one mention, is associated with a certain holiday.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

We watched one of the best horror and Halloween-themed masterpieces in cinematography, thanks to Tim Burton’s writing and Henry Selick’s direction.

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Hocus Pocus

A simple narrative about Halloween in all of its glory: witches, pumpkins, zombies, and, as a bonus, Sarah Jessica Parker as a child.

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Beetlejuice

Tim Burton’s principal protagonists are demonic spirits, once again in an environment of dread, horror, and pleasure. A classic horror comedy that’s ideal for Halloween!

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Halloween

But this film isn’t about having a good time; it’s about a psychopath who murders people with a large knife. However, because Halloween is largely about death and terror, it’s great for people who enjoy a good scare.

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Edward Scissorhands

Not quite a horror picture, but a really pleasant and lovely film directed by Tim Burton. Who can blame him if every film he does is great for Halloween? By the way, Johnny Depp is in the starring role.

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Donnie Darko

Hundreds of websites and pages dedicated to the study of this image may be found on the Internet. A thrilling, weird, terrifying, and really intriguing narrative. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead role. Another reason to see Donnie Darko is because of this.

Mystic stories

Of course, a holiday like Halloween has scary legends and stories, and here are the most popular and important ones.

Jack’s Lantern

Now we are back to the history of Halloween pumpkins. Once upon a time there was a rather nasty man named Jack. And then one day he met the devil himself and realized that he had come for his soul, since he understood that the place for his soul was just with the devil. They walked along the road together and saw an apple tree with ripe apples. Jack pretended that he wanted to taste the apples and persuaded the devil to climb the tree after them, and he planted him, because the apples were hanging quite high. And when he was sitting in a tree, Jack cunningly snatched his knife out of his pocket and carved a cross on the trunk of an apple tree, which, as you know, the devil fears more than anything else.

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Thus, the devil could not get off the tree. “Help me get down, and I promise not to take your soul for 10 years,” he pleaded. But Jack brazenly offered him his help in return for the fact that he would never take her away. The devil was forced to agree – he would not sit on a tree forever and ever! … But Jack miscalculated – it was still time for him to die, and even before the next Halloween he “played in the box”, and his soul had to go somewhere … Considering his numerous sins, the road to heaven for his soul was closed, and then he was forced to turn to the devil, but when he saw him, he shouted: “Get out! You meanly deceived me, forcing me to promise never to take your soul – and I’m going to keep my promise! You cannot enter hell! ”…“ But where can I go? ” – asked poor Jack. “Get out where you came from,” was the answer. “But how can I find my way in such pitch darkness?” Cried the poor fellow. Then the devil scooped up a handful of coals from the hellish heat and threw it to Jack. Jack caught the coals and poured them inside the turnip, which he was gnawing at this tragic moment. It was with this improvised lantern that he went to wander the world in search of a haven for his sinful soul.

Such a strange legend gave rise to the existence of these “jack-o’-lanterns”, which can be seen quite often on Halloween. And since the pumpkin at this time is just the harvest, and the pumpkin looks much nicer than some turnip, it was chosen for this purpose, quite successfully.

Witches

The witch costume is the most popular female Halloween costume, and the silhouette of a witch on a broomstick against a full moon is one of the holiday’s iconic images. The strength of witches is said to rise by a factor of ten on November 1st night. The image of an old witch lady in a pointed hat stirring her concoction in a massive cauldron was changed from the ancient deity Mother Earth or the Old Woman, representing knowledge and the changing of seasons.

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Of course, now the image of a witch is practiced not only as an old woman, but also as a beautiful young girl, which has served as a result of many new series and films about witches, such as “Charmed”.

But it was not always safe to be in the form of a witch. A terrible time for them began in 1486. Heinrich Kramer wrote “The Hammer of the Witches,” a book for witch hunters. It’s important to note right away that there are numerous hypotheses as to why he wrote it. The first claims that he was enraged because of his failure in court, where he accused numerous ladies of witchcraft and they were acquitted, and they discreetly said to Kramer that you, friend, are too pushy, do something different… Another explanation is Kramer’s problems with the female genitalia. Henry began to exact vengeance in various ways.

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The book is now available. They began to actively employ it for its original purpose, and distribution was very simple at the time, thanks to the appearance of a printing press in 1454.

Furthermore, informing on persons who allegedly appeared to be sorcerers benefited other people: a neighbor crossed your way, and you simply pretended he was a magician. The informer is sleeping comfortably as the neighbor is being burned at the stake. Is it necessary to clarify that the majority of the penalty had nothing to do with magic?

The situation began to stabilize towards the end of the 16th century. If the sole proof of the accused’s guilt was the statements of a “witness,” courts were progressively acquitting them.

In 1735, the United Kingdom became the first country to decriminalize witchcraft. Anna Geldi was the last person executed in Europe for magic in 1782. More official cases have not been recorded, although due to fear and hatred, which has become entrenched in the head of some, lynching still happened.

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By tradition, the image of a witch is ideally complemented by a black cat, which is also one of the main characters for this holiday.

Cats

Many people are perplexed as to how cats and Halloween are connected. We tell you: in the Middle Ages, everyone thought cats were dark powers’ helpers. Witches were said to send cats to spy humans or transform into tailed creatures themselves. As a result, after a period, when people’s terror reached a peak, cats and witches were mass-exterminated. Even cats were put to the test! They put on human clothing and said a phrase.

Cats are already actively preparing for Halloween by decorating the house. Not just the home, but the pets as well! After all, they are appropriately regarded as one of the emblems of All Saints Eve.

Conclusion

And so, we examined the history of the most mystical holiday. Several variants of its origin. The main traditions and heroes of legends were also studied far and wide. Now it will definitely not be difficult for you to choose a suit and dress up a house or apartment. We hope the story was interesting for you. Have a terrible Halloween. Don’t forget to purchase your party supplies from us. You will not regret it.