Happy Halloween I – the Origin of Halloween

At first, let’s talking about the origin of word “Halloween”: a lot of nations on the eve of Halloween will held a celebration gathering, which also be called “All Hallow E’en”, “The Eve of All Hallows”, “Hallow e’en”, or “The eve of All Saintas’ Day “, and last evolved as a convention into “Halloween”, in Chinese we call it “the night of Halloween”. 

 

 

Halloween is an annual celebration, but just what is it actually a celebration of? And how did this peculiar custom come from? Is it, as some claim, a kind of demon worship? Or is it just a harmless vestige of some ancient pagan ritual?  

 

In the Medieval Ages, the central Europe had a history of demolishing heathens, but the sacrifice ceremony before the New Year’s night has never been reclined indeed, and just appeared in the form of wizard. That’s why in today’s Hallowmas, we are still familiar with witch’s brooms, black cats and curses.  

 

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. From the Roman’s Pomona Day, to the Celtic festival of Samhain, to the Christian holidays of All Saints and All Souls Days.   

 

 

Hundreds of years ago in what is now Great Britain and Northern France, lived the Celts. The Celts worshipped nature and had many gods, with the sun god as their favorite. It was “he” who commanded their work and their rest times, and who made the earth beautiful and the crops grow.  

 

The word itself, “Halloween,” actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, “All Hollows Day” (or “All Saints Day”), is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (sow-en), the Celtic New year.  

 

One story says that, on that day, the disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts believed all laws of space and time were suspended during this time, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living.  

 

Naturally, the still-living did not want to be possessed. So on the night of October 31, villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes, to make them cold and undesirable. They would then dress up in all manner of ghoulish costumes and noisily paraded around the neighborhood, being as destructive as possible in order to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to possess.  

Probably a better explanation of why the Celts extinguished their fires was not to discourage spirit possession, but so that all the Celtic tribes could relight their fires from a common source, the Druidic fire that was kept burning in the Middle of Ireland, at Usinach.  

Some accounts tell of how the Celts would burn someone at the stake who was thought to have already been possessed, as sort of a lesson to the spirits. Other accounts of Celtic history debunk these stories as myth.  

The Romans adopted the Celtic practices as their own. But in the first century AD, Samhain was assimilated into celebrations of some of the other Roman traditions that took place in October, such as their day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple, which might explain the origin of our modern tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween.  

 With regard to the origin of Halloween, the most referred legend viewed that Halloween was came from the ancient Western European countries before the birth of Christ, which mainly includes Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These ancient Western Europeans were also called Celtic or Druids. The date of Celtic or Druids’ New Year is on November 1, and in the New Year’s eve, young peoples in Druids were gathered in a team and worn various weird masks, carried carved radish lamps and wandered between villages. 

The thrust of the practices also changed over time to become more ritualized. As belief in spirit possession waned, the practice of dressing up like hobgoblins, ghosts, and witches took on a more ceremonial role.  

Here is necessary to explain that the pumpkin lamp is a custom appeared lately, and there’s no pumpkin in ancient Western Europe. In fact, the Halloween is a ceremony that celebrated for the autumn’s harvest, and it also was said as a “ghost day”, there’s a legend said that the souls of people who dead in the that year will return to visit the world, so live peoples should let the souls returned see the scenery of their successful harvest and give them an abundant feast. So all needfires and lamps were used to scare sway the souls of ghosts, and the same time to illuminate the return road for the ghosts and guide them back.

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Halloween Decorating Ideas | Most Popular Halloween Costumes

Happy Halloween III – Truths About Halloween (funny)

0) The most popular game on the eve of Halloween is “Biting Apples”. In the game, people will put some apples floating in the water with a big basin, then let the children to bite at these apples without using their hands, and the winner is the first one who bite an apple successfully.  

 

1) Halloween is always celebrated on 31 October.

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2) Halloween is one of the oldest celebrations in the world, dating back over 2000 years to the time of the Celts who lived in Britain

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3) Halloween is correctly spelt as Hallowe’en and Halloween is also known by other names:

– All Hallows Eve

– Samhain

– All Hallowtide

– The Feast of the Dead

– The Day of the Dead

– Nos Calan Gaeaf (Halloween in Welsh)

4) In Mexico, they celebrate Halloween or the Day of the Dead starting the evening of October 31.

5) When the Romans conquered England, they merged Samhain with their own festivals, a harvest festival called Poloma, and a celebration for the dead called Feralia.

6) When Christianity came to England and the rest of Europe, 1 November became All Saints Day – a day dedicated to all those saints who didn’t have a special day of their own. They performed a mass called ‘All hallows mass’ and the night before became known as All Hallows E’en and eventually Hallowe’en or Halloween.

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7) Black cats were originally believed to protect witches’ powers from negative forces.

8) About 99% of pumpkins sold are used as Jack O’ Lanterns at Halloween.

9) It is thought that the colors orange and black became Halloween colors because orange is associated with harvests (Halloween masks the end of harvest) and black is associated with death.

10) A pumpkin is really a squash, and comes from the same family as the cucumber.

11) The biggest pumpkin in the world tipped the scales at a whopping 1,446 pounds. This gigantic gourd was weighed in October 2004 at a pumpkin festival in Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada.

12) Top Tips for Halloween: If your pumpkin lantern shrivels up, you can restore it by soaking it overnight in water to rehydrate it.

13) The very first jack o’ lantern was made out of hollowed out turnips.

14) The record for the fastest pumpkin carver in the world is Jerry Ayers of Baltimore, Ohio. He carved a pumpkin in just 37 seconds!

15) If you see a spider on this night, it could be the spirit of a dead loved one who is watching you.

16) Ringing a bell on Halloween eve scares evil spirits away.

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17) If you want to meet a witch, put your clothes on inside out and walk backwards on Halloween night.

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Halloween Decorating Ideas | Most Popular Halloween Costumes

Happy Halloween II — Halloween Customs

On the annual Nov.1 is the traditional Western festival of “Ghost Holiday” – Halloween, and Oct. 31 is the eve of Halloween, it usually known as the night before Halloween. But the atmosphere on this day is far from “horrible” as its name sounds.

The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840’s by Irish immigrants fleeing their country’s potato famine. At that time, the favorite pranks in New England included tipping over outbuildings and unhinging fence gates. 

The best known and featured custom of Halloween are just the two – fantastic “Jack’s Lantern” and prank “Trick or Treat”. 

Every time at the arrival of Halloween, the children are all hurried to put on their colorful make-up costumes, wear various ridiculous masks on and carrying a “Jack Light” walk from house to house and begging for holiday gifts.

Trick or Treat 

The custom of trick-or-treat is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village and begging for “soul candies”, made out of square pieces of bread with raisins.

The more soul candies the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could speed up a soul’s path to the heaven.

This is an important part in Halloween days on the dining table, you not only should ready for enough candies and cakes to entertain those naughty “devilkins”, but also to deck out your table with elaborate care in this special day. Never to let your guests look down with you!

 Jack’s Lantern

 The “Jack’s Lantern” custom probably comes from Irish folklore. As the tale is told, a man named Jack, who was notorious as a drunkard and trickster, tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree’s trunk, trapping the devil up the tree. Jack made a deal with the devil that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let him down the tree.

According to the folk tale, after Jack died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. Instead, the devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the frigid darkness. The ember was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to keep it glowing longer.

The “Jack’s Lantern” looks very cute and lovely, and its could be bought out very simple: Take a pumpkin and hollowed out it, then engraved smiling eyes and a big mouth on the outside, then put a candle in and lit it, so people could able to see this naive and smiling face faraway, this is just the children’s favorite toy on Halloween.

The Irish used turnips as their “Jack’s lanterns” originally. But when the immigrants came to America, they found that pumpkins were far more plentiful than turnips. So the Jack-O-Lantern in America was a hollowed-out pumpkin, lit with an ember.

Custom Tradition Review

In the most “haunted” night, all kinds of demons, pirates, witches and extraterrestrial visitors will turn out one after another. In the era before Christ, the Celtics have the custom of to hold a ceremony at the end of the summer to express thanks for the benefactions given by God and the Sun, diviners of the time will light up fires and apply witchcrafts to drive away the demons and spirits that wandering around.

Later, the custom of Romans that using nuts and apples to celebrate harvest was fused with the custom of Celtics on October 31, and In the Middle Ages, people were accustomed to put on costumes of animal designs, and worn terrible masks to drive away ghosts and demons in the night before Halloween. Although the Christianism had taken place of the Celtic and Roman’s religious activities later, these early Halloween customs have been kept down finally.

The Halloween we celebrate today includes all of these influences, Pomona Day’s apples, nuts, and harvest, the Festival of Samhain’s black cats, magic, evil spirits and death, and the ghosts, skeletons and skulls from All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day.

So, although some cults may have adopted Halloween as their favorite “holiday,” the day itself did not grow out of evil practices. It grew out of the rituals of Celts celebrating a new year, and out of Medieval prayer rituals of Europeans. And today, even many churches have Halloween parties or pumpkin carving events for the kids. After all, the day itself is only as evil as one cares to make it.

Today, children wear on a variety of Halloween costumes and masks jokingly to attend Halloween parties, and people has been familiar with the scene of various witches made of paper, black cats, skeletons and ghost figures hanging on the walls of the parties, also in front of windows and doors there are pumpkin lanterns with bare teeth and open mouths or formidable faces.

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Happy Halloween VIII ? Colorful Halloween Decorations

The Design Colors used in Halloween Decoration

— Orange is the Themed Color of Halloween  

Echoes with “Jack’s Lantern”, the color black and orange are traditional colors on the eve of Halloween, and the representatives of black there are black cats, spiders and witches, while the representative of orange is pumpkin lantern (Jack-O’-Lantern), all these decorations are familiar symbols of Halloween.

During the Halloween, you could deck the large dinning table in your home with orange, yellow and green thus to produce a thick ambience of village, accompanied with rural music emitted from stereo, oh! It’s so warm and cozy!

Today, a mass of purple, green and red have begun been used with Halloween decorations. If the home furnishings in your dining room are more suited with these colors, well then they could also bring you great inspirations for your holiday decoration.

* Symbols of Halloween
— Pumpkin is The Most Popular Figure in Halloween  

Among all symbols of Halloween, the pumpkin figure is most popular

Halloween also called “Ghost Holiday” in the West, so many symbols of the Halloween are themed with ghosts and demons, but among them there are also lovely symbols like pumpkin lanterns and scarecrows. Whether on a Jack’s Lantern in your hands or those furnishings on dining table or in dining room, pumpkins could be seen everywhere.

Try and take some minds for the festival, you can choose some storage tanks, small decorations that shaped in “pumpkin head”, or use your hands to make some napkins, placemats that formed into big pumpkins, with these you could dress your table uniquely and full of moods, which is very important for holding a successful party.

* Unique Style Home Furnishings
— Special Ideas for Halloween Decoration

An exquisite candle holder could bring more fun to Halloween decorations easily for us, and to choose candlestick as a Halloween decoration also is very economical. You only should to spend a small amount of money and buy a variety of novel candleholders to deck your dining table in holiday, whose wonderful patterns and aromas could show your high taste prominently. Even these candlesticks are only been displayed on the dining side-tables, they could also acted as kind of elegant embellishments for your happy life. The base of iron candlestick could bring a qualified sense of weight, matched with long candles in solid colors, it can reflect out dazzling sheens.

Simple structure is also a bright spot in the design of this type of candlesticks, using them to deck your dining table could produce unique flavors in Halloween. And small candlesticks are also a good choice, the color of light rose could foil joyful moods well and bring more warm to this festival, and leave you beautiful memories to this special holiday too.

When we choose home furnishings for decoration, flower is always an important factor that could bring us joy and beauty, so in Halloween our dining tables could not keep them away. You can select a bone china flower vase and several wild chrysanthemums matched with it, or to buy some dried flowers that stained with orange, all these are good ideas that keeping with the occasion and the time well.

No matter to choose what decoration or furnishings to decorate your home in this Halloween, I believe they could all bring surprises and enjoyments to our life. Even if you have never been abroad, and never enjoyed this holiday really, as long as you have mastered the furnishing skills of the home life, and as long as you could pay more intention to collect the knowledge of the life with home furnishings and home decoration, I believe you could become a true connoisseur of life and fashion finally.

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