Who’s that knocking at my door
I must admit I’m a little scared
I open it and what do I see
A green monster and he’s growling at me.
Now I’m walking out that door,
I’m not gonna be scared no more,
I’m in my costume and I’m ready to be
The one who’s scaring you
The Origins of Halloween
Halloween is one of the oldest holidays with origins going back thousands of years. The holiday we know as Halloween has had many influences from many cultures over the centuries. The holiday originally comes from the Celts, who celebrated New Year on November the 1st and they had to store all the crops for a cold winter. For the Celts, winter was a dark time of year with fewer daylight hours. It was also a season associated with death. They believed that on the night of October 31, ghosts were able to come back to earth. The ghosts were not the friendly variety; instead, they came back to damage crops and torment the living. Since the barrier between the world of the living and that of the dead was thinner on October 31, this was the day when Celtic priests made predictions for the future.
“Samhain” was the name of this autumn harvest festival. Samhain means roughly in Old Irish “summer’s end,” and recognizes the fall harvest, and the separation of the end of the “lighter half” of the year from the beginning of the “darker half” of the year. November is the beginning of the “dark half” and is thus the beginning of half of the year, considered to be New Year’s Day for the Celts.
The Celtic priests were also known as the Druids, and they made Samhain a big event by lighting large bonfires. The Druids also dressed up in costumes that were made from animal heads and skins. When they were finished with the Samhain celebrations, the Celts re-lit the fires in their homes from the flames of those sacred bonfires. They thought it would help to keep them safe and warm all winter.
The Use of Costumes on Halloween
The use of masks and costumes was a practice of the Gaels who were mimicking the spirits in an attempt to quiet them. In Scotland young men wore masks, veils, or black painted faces while wearing white clothing. In the 19th and 20th centuries, children dressed in guises or costumes would go door to door seeking coins or treats.
Every late November, people in every house hang a least one ornament on their doors, to get in the spirit of the holiday. There are more than one ornamentation options and everybody decorates his house just as he pleases. The most “notorious” ornaments is the candle-pumpkin. It’s practically a pumpkin emptied on the inside and two eyes and a mouth are cut on its shell, and a candle is placed inside. Another way of decoration is the ghost and crown on the door. It’s a ghost standing in the middle of the crown made out of synthetic grass and small Halloween Pumpkins.
Another Halloween habit is trick-or-treating. It’s a game for the kids, they put on masks of ghosts, witches, zombies or scary monsters and go from door to door yelling out: Trick or Treat. It means that either you give them a treat or they play a trick on you. The most preferred treats are candy, chocolate or any other kinds of sweets and sometimes pumpkin pie and fruit salad.But no matter what they do, people always find a way to get into the spirit of the holiday, like everyone else should!