Halloween 101

Every year we went door to door, rang on bells and received a bunch of candies, but did you ever stop for a second and ask yourself what is the history of Halloween and how do people around the world celebrate this spookiest day of the year?

Halloween is one of the world’s oldest holiday and is still celebrated in different countries around the globe until today. The word “Halloween” is a shortening of Hallow’s Evening or All Hallow’s Eve and also as known as Hallowe’en. Halloween is said to to have its origin from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain; November 1 was designated by Pope Gregory III to be All Saint day in honour to all saints and martyrs.

The Celtic festival is celebrated by the Celts people, who lived 2000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland. The celebration was held at the end of the harvest season, which is also when Autumn ends and people started stocking for Winter. The Celtic’s new year is November 1 and they believed that the day before new year (October 31) is when the worlds of the living and dead overlapped; the deaths would come back to cause problems and damage the crops. The Samhain festival would always had bonfires and people wore masks and costumes to appease the deceased’s spirits. Later on in the 9th century, Christianity’s influences has reached to the land of Celtics, eventually, it blended and replaced the Celtic’s traditions.

Heretofore, Halloween is mostly celebrate in North American countries like Canada and America. In the 1800s, along with the arrival of Scottish and Irish immigrants, modern Halloween celebration was brought to Canada. On Halloween, us Canadians usually carve Jack O’Lanterns,  decorate our homes with pumpkins and cornstalks, go trick-or-treating or even attend a Halloween parties.  Did you know that one quarter of all candy sold annually in America was purchased for Halloween, and 65% of Americans decorated their homes, offices for Halloween? Now let’s take a peek at how other countries celebrate Halloween.

First things first, Ireland is believed to be Halloween’s birthplace and it is still celebrated here as much as in North America. People in rural area usually lit bonfires like the day of Celts and children will be dressing up and spend their evening trick-or-treating in their neighbourhoods.  Most people also throw parties with their neighbours and friends. The Irish also play a card game where cards are laid face-down on a table with sweets or coins beneath them. When a child selects a card, he or she receives whatever prize might be found there.  “Barncake”, a type of fruitcake that is baked at home or can be bought from the store, is an Irish’s traditional food which is eaten on Halloween. Children are also known to play tricks upon their neighbours on Halloween night. One such trick is known as “knock-a-dolly” (a similar game of “ding-dong-ditch”), where children knock on the doors of their neighbours but then run away before the door is opened.

Unlike the neighbour nations, the French didn’t celebrate Halloween to honour the deaths, as it is known as an “American” holiday in France and it was practically unknown in the country until around 1996.

In dedication to the spirits of their ancestors, the Japanese celebrate the “Obon Festival” (or the “Masturi”, “Urabon” festival) which is similar to Halloween. The “Obon Festival” take place during July or August. On this special occasion, special foods are prepared and bright red lanterns are hung everywhere. Candles are lit and placed into lanterns which are then set afloat on rivers and seas. To the Japanese, the “Obon Festival” is when the dead are believed to return to their birthplaces so a fire is lit every night of the “Obon Festival” to help the ancestors find their way home and find their families.

To finish this off, I want to show you guys one Halloween costume that I think is really cute and easy to recreate, it is the Minion from Despicable Me. This is just my opinion so I would like to know what do you guys think is the best Halloween costume of the year and what did you guys dressed up for Halloween? Please send me some of your pictures or reviews and I’m more than happy to see it!

Minion Halloween costume

That’s it for now, I hope you all had fun on Halloween and I have helped you to know a bit more about the festival! 🙂

Stay strong, stay stylish! ❤


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