October is known for a special day: the 31st. This day is expected by many people in the world to go out to celebrate Halloween, a party in which costumes, sweets and terror can be observed in the streets.
For this date, the celebrations are for all ages. From the youngest children, who go out trick-or-treating in the streets, houses, parks; even the most adult who take the opportunity to dance and have a night of fun.
Halloween was born on the festival of Samhain, which was part of the ancient Celtic religion, the people that inhabited Wales, Ireland, Scotland and the North of France 200 years ago. Samhaim’s name meant “the end of summer” and he was worshiped as the god of death.
In ancient times, some peoples used to associate death with the beginning of the coldest and darkest days. The Celts were convinced that a barrier existed between the world of humans and the world of spirits. This border, according to them, opened at the end of the summer. According to this belief, on October 31 the souls of the people who had died left and returned to their place of origin and to their homes. At the same time, the goblins, witches and elves came out to exact revenge on those who had harmed the souls of the dead while they were alive.
How did the term Halloween come about?
The United States is one of the countries that is most recognized for its Halloween celebrations. The houses are adorned with cobwebs, fake blood, and other horror items. People prepare their costumes with a lot of time to surprise the neighborhood and some parents accompany their children to trick or treating with the famous phrase “candy or trick”.
Many people believe that the roots of Halloween are in the United States, but they go back to the United Kingdom. This term comes from the phrase “All Hallows’eve”, which in Spanish translates “eve of all saints.” The Catholic Church took it and instituted it as one of their most important celebrations, which they coined as “All Saints Day.” This, in honor of the people who left the earth and enjoy eternal life in the presence of God.
For the month of October, there is an element that when people see it they automatically relate it to Halloween. Its orange color stands out to the eye and is the universal symbol of this celebration: the pumpkin.
The use of this vegetable for Halloween was born as a tradition in Ireland due to a legend about Jack, a tight-fisted farmer who scammed his neighbors. One day, the devil went looking for Jack to take his soul, but with his cunning, he managed to deceive him and capture him as a prisoner. He promised the farmer that he would not look for him again if he was released.
After many years, Jack died. After his death, his soul was received neither heaven nor hell. The devil had condemned him to travel in purgatory. Before leaving, the farmer asked the devil for a favor to give him a light to illuminate the dark path on which he was wandering. So Jack took one of the turnips from his bag, made a hole in it, and put an ember inside.
Over time the legend of this farmer became very famous in Ireland, known as “the story of Jack of the lantern”, which translates Jack of the lantern. The inhabitants began to associate this legend with the Samhain celebrations. It became a tradition for the inhabitants, since they carried these species of lanterns to light the way of the villages and left them lit outside their houses, on Halloween night.
This tradition became popular in the United States thanks to the arrival of Irish immigrants. However, as there were no turnips in this country, they chose pumpkin, because at that time there was an excess of plantations of this vegetable.