Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Scary As Well As Entertaining Festival of Halloween

Halloween is celebrated as a holiday which is a blend of remnants of traditional harvest festival celebrations with customs that extraordinary such as costume wearing, trick-or-treating, playing pranks on others and attractive images based on the change of the seasons, death, and the superstition.

Till recent times it was considered as a children's holiday, but in past few recent activities related to this occasion like costume parties, themed decorations, and even trick-or-treating have grown very much popular among the adults as well, which makes the Halloween a celebration for all the ages.

According to legends it is said to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people used to light bonfires and wear costumes to scare off bad spirits. During the 18th century, Pope Gregory III chose November 1st as a time to honour all saints and martyrs. The day was known as All Saints’ Day which included some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before this day was known as All Hallows’ Eve, which later came to be known as Halloween. As time passed by, Halloween evolved into a secular holiday.

The evolvement of artifacts and symbols related with Halloween formed with time. Jack-o-lanterns are generally carried by the people in order to frighten the ghosts. The most significant symbol of Halloween is the native pumpkins used by the North Americans. These much softer and much larger, which makes it easier to carve.

The present day  imagery of Halloween are derived from various sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula) and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein and The Mummy). Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks and scarecrows, are also common imageries of Halloween. The homes of the people are generally decorated with these symbols during Halloween. The general themes of Halloween imagery involves death, evil, mysterious and mythical monsters. The traditional colours related to this event are black, orange and even purple at times.

Trick-or-treating and dressing
Trick-or-treating is a traditional event of Halloween celebrated by the children. During this event children go to houses while wearing peculiar and scary costumes, asking for treats like candy or even money. As the name of the event, “Trick or treat", the word "trick" here, is referred to threat, which is related to mischief performed on the people who do not offer any treat. 

Halloween costumes play a significant role in celebrating the event.  These costumes are basically related to superstitious figures like monsters, ghosts, witches and devils. Over time, the costume worn during this time has extended to famous as well as fiction characters and also of celebrities.

There are several games that are played during the Halloween parties. One of the common games is dunking, in which apples are left to float in a tub or a large basin of water and the players must use their teeth to remove the apples form the tub or basin. Another common game played during this event is the hanging of syrup-coated scones by strings and the participants must eat these scones without using their hands while they remain hanging by the strings. There are several types of games played during the parties of Halloween; some of which are very scary.

Countries celebrating the Halloween
 Halloween was first originated in Ireland but this fanciful event is very much popular in United States and many other countries like Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, England, France, Germany and many other countries across the globe.

The Halloween festival is celebrated on October 31 and, the parties and trick or treating related to this event is initiated later during the evening time.