Halloween Traditions: Halloween Traditions and Superstitions Explained. The popularity of Halloween and its traditions has crossed borders, not only celebrated in the United Kingdom and the United States, other countries of the world and Latin America have also adopted on October 31 as a holiday to dress up, get scared and eat sweets. In Mexico, the proximity to the Day of the Dead has reinforced their fanaticism.
Halloween Traditions – Halloween Superstitions
That is why next I present the origin of 13 superstitions, traditions and elements of the Halloween so that you know better where all the mysticism that characterizes this date comes from.
Halloween is the evolution of an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain. On the night of October 31, the Celts celebrated the end of the harvest season, which was considered the Celtic New Year. In fact, this Gaelic word means “end of summer”.
In addition to leaving food outside to keep the spirits of the deceased happy and keep the bad guys from their homes, the ancient Celts made bonfires and told jokes during the celebration. These jokes or games probably went up in tone during the Great Depression of the United States in 1929, to become pranks and jokes a little more aggressive that bordered on vandalism. To calm the mood, people began to give sweets, hence the expression of “sweet or mischief.”
The stereotype of an old woman with a pointed black hat and a warty nose who prepares magical potions in a large cauldron comes from a pagan goddess known as La Vieja. This was venerated during the Samhain and was also known as Mother Earth because it symbolized wisdom and the change of season.
The ancient Celts believed that after death, your soul would go to the cauldron of La Vieja, which symbolized the womb of Mother Earth. That was where the souls waited to reincarnate, while the goddess moved the contents of the cauldron to allow new souls to enter and the old ones to be reborn.
In addition to marking the end of the harvest season, the Celts believed that during the Samhain the boundary between the world of the dead and ours was reduced, allowing ghosts and spirits to “walk” among the living. The people of the time believed that the dead could disguise themselves as they wanted to knock on their door and ask for money or food. If they did not leave something for them, they ran the risk of being cursed.
Another version of this myth says that the Celts disguised themselves to deceive the evil spirits and go unnoticed.
5. Orange and Black
The classic colors of Halloween also come from Samhain. As I mentioned, this holiday marked the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. The orange symbolizes the color of the harvest and the leaves of the trees, while the black marks the “death” of summer and the entrance to the “dark” season.
6. Carved pumpkins
The Irish tell the story of Jack the Stingy Jack, a drunken farmer who cheated the devil twice, which meant that when he was killed, he was denied entry to both heaven and hell. The devil banished Jack and only gave him a burning piece of coal to light his way. The farmer carved a turnip and placed the coal inside to create a lantern. Since then, Jack travels the Earth without any direction. People began to refer to him as Jack of the Lantern (Jack the Lantern), name that evolved to Jack O’Lantern.
Currently, people carve pumpkins and place candles or lights inside with decorative motifs, but previously it was done to guide home to lost spirits.
7. Candy Apples
When the Romans conquered much of the Celtic territories, both cultures merged. The Samhain coincided with the festivity of Pomona, the Roman goddess of the harvest whose symbol was the apple. In this way, the fruit became an important part and synonymous with Samhain. Covering them with candy is attributed to William W. Kolb, a Newark candy maker who created the first ones in 1908.
8. Fish apples with your mouth
In ancient times, the apple was considered a sacred fruit capable of predicting the future. The game of fishing or biting apples without using their hands became a Halloween custom. It was believed that the first person who managed to remove an apple floating in water with his mouth, would be the next to marry.
It was also believed that women who put the apple under their pillow, would dream of their future husband.
9. Black cats
Currently, old spinsters who live surrounded by cats are not the most popular people, however, in the Middle Ages it was much worse. At that time, these women were commonly accused of witchcraft and it was believed that their cats were animals that the same demon had given them as pets, hence the bad reputation of black cats and the superstitions around them.
These winged mammals were also considered allies or relatives of the “witches”, so seeing one on Halloween was an omen of very bad luck. People believed that if a bat flew around their house, it meant that someone who lived there would soon die.
11. Witches’ Broom
As I mentioned, in medieval times, elderly, unmarried and poor women were usually accused of witchcraft. As these little old ladies did not have to buy a horse or ride a carriage, they were usually seen walking alone through the forest with a stick or broom. The people of that time believed that at night, the witches rubbed a potion that made them feel as if they were flying – in a few words, they used drugs.
In antiquity it was also believed that if a spider fell on a candle and was consumed by the flame, it meant that there were witches nearby.
Most people believe that scarecrows were created to scare away crows and other birds from the fields, but some historians believe that the concept refers to that in ancient times they sacrificed men to calm the wrath of the gods and ensure a good harvest. The bodies of the victims were placed on the field as an offering-that is, it is creepy.
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