The History Everything started in the 5 th century, in the place where today is Great Britain and Northern France. At that time the Celts lived there and they celebrated New Year with a festival called “Samhain” on November 1 st. It was a holiday of the end of the “Sun Season” and the start of the “Dark and Cold Season”. People made lamps of pumpkins and candles and said: “These lamps help the sun to live in winter”.
In the year 835 the Roman Catholic Church made November 1 st a church holiday of all saints who do not have a special day in the year. This holiday was called “All Saints Day” or “All Hallows Day”. People started to celebrate another holiday on October 31 st : “All Hallows Eve” (the night before “All Hallows Day”). Now we call this festival “Halloween”.
The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.
Jack-o-lanterns – pumpkins with lighted candles inside which were used to frighten away evil spirits. According to an Irish legend a man called Jack can’t enter neither heaven nor hell. So instead, he has to walk in the darkness with his lantern until Judgment Day. Traditions
Costumes – on Halloween people wore masks and costumes when they left homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for other evil spirits. The colours of Halloween are orange ( the colour of harvest) and black ( the colour of death and darkness).
Trick-or-Treat – many years ago to keep ghosts and witches away from their houses on Halloween, people placed plates of food outside their homes to appease all evil spirits. And now British children put on their costumes and from door to door in the evening saying: “Trick or Treat”. And people give them chocolate and sweets.
Beliefs People strongly believed that Halloween is the night when communication between the worlds of the living and the dead can be. Dead people visit our world as witches, goblins, ghosts, black cats and skeletons.