Trick or Treat!
A Brief History of Halloween
Halloween’s origins actually come from an Ancient Celtic (Ireland) tradition, known as the Samhain Festival (Late Summer Festival). At that time people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts. Early November marks the end of summer and harvest and the beginning of a cold, dark winter, a time often associated with human death. Therefore on the night of October 31 they celebrate Samhain and believe the ghosts of the dead return to earth. To commemorate the event, the Celts built large sacred bonfires, where people gathered to burn plants and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic gods. During the celebrations, the Celts wore costumes, usually consisting of animal heads and skins, and tried to tell one another’s fates. Bonfires are also believed to be able to protect them during the coming winter.
Celebrations on every October 31 and even then begin to expand and more traditions and activities are carried out to celebrate it. In addition to All Saints Day in Austria which is celebrated in the same way as Samhain, with huge bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes of saints, angels, and demons, there is also a “trick-or-treat” tradition. This “trick-or-treat” tradition has finally made the Halloween atmosphere brighter and the celebrations can be enjoyed by children. This “trick-or-treat” is a tradition in Halloween celebrations where children usually go from house to house asking for candy, chocolate, and other sweets while wearing various unique costumes.
Although not exactly celebrated at the end of October, Japan also has a festival similar to Halloween, this celebration is known as Obon. Obon Day is a series of ceremonies and traditions in Japan to celebrate the arrival of ancestral spirits. People will enliven it by wearing scary clothes. The event will end by throwing the lanterns into the river or sea to escort the ancestral spirits. While in Hong Kong, a celebration similar to Halloween is the Yue Lan Festival. Yue Lan or the Hungry Ghost Festival is very interesting to watch while on vacation in Hong Kong. The event, which was held on October 31, was carried out by giving offerings in the form of fruit or burning paper money. For 24 hours, you will see a different Hong Kong atmosphere than usual days. Many people are dressed in spooky, the city is filled with candles or lanterns, there are a variety of unique foods, and parades along the way.
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