The history of Halloween.
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Celts celebrated the beginnings of seasons. There were four: February 2 - Imbolg, April 30 - Balteyn, July 31 - Lammas, October 31 - Samhain. Each beginning of season was celebrated in its own way, but today we are only interested in Samhain. Samhain marks the coming of winter.
Halloween is above all the transition, it is the mystical "now", which does not exist.
Only on this night - the night of Halloween - Samhain opens the gates to both sides, and only on this night a person can realize his place in this world. Or in another?
Halloween is intriguing. Samhain was considered as a dark god, but the Great Wasteland in which he lives, is far from gloomy. There is the White Silence, something always existing - even before anything has appeared. But Samhain is not the devil. How can death be good or evil? Onlly people can be good or evil. Plunging in cheerful and slightly horrible spectacle of Halloween a person gets a chance to understand something unknowable. And just throwing the burden of everyday concerns a man can be cleaned and be reborn to a new life.
Halloween itself is originated far away in history, some say that it is not less than two thousand years old. Then it was celebrated on May 13, and that night people recalled the dead saints and martyrs.
But at the beginning of our era Romans came to the lands of the Celts. And for 400 years, which the Romans held the lands of the Celts, not only population but also traditions have mixed up.
Halloween was very important, because at that time people were saying goodbye, as usual with the help of rituals, to everything old, bad, useless, and met new. In gift to gods of the nature they brought apples, fall vegetables, flowers, and left them under the trees or buried in the ground asking for help and support. And in general in all pagan beliefs souls of ancestors concerned more than quiveringly - and not only to saints.
And when the U.S. first settlers rushed to occupy the New World, they, of course, brought and their favorite holidays to a new home. And Halloween and Christmas are the most important holidays for British and Americans.
Not only Irish and British arrived to the USA, but many other people. And there is also a rich culture of the Indians. And all this mixed up once again. Wild nature led people to unbridled fun - to dance the night away at fires, to divination and to some hooliganism, of course: try to refrain from bullying, when you wear a mask of evil spirit!
Girls believed that on Halloween they could learn the name and appearance of her fiance, guessing at the thread, apple cores and mirrors, and the bravest citizens turned clothes inside out and left on road at night, hoping to meet a witch.
By the end of a XIX-th century a mystical bias of a Halloween have almost finished, having transformed it into a public holiday, however, not up to the end: and large-scale vandalism continued. They managed to cope with it only in the middle of the last century, having made a holiday, basically, for children.
Halloween does not happen without a pumpkin! For hundreds of years on Oct. 31 Jack-o-lanterns lit in every window, and repel evil forces. The history of its appearance tells an Irish legend of a drunk named Stingy Jack.
Jack-o-lanterns still roams the earth in anticipation of the Last Judgement and is a symbol of damned soul.
In Ireland and Scotland scary faces, into which candles are then inserted, were carved from turnips and potatoes, in England - from beets. The tradition migrated to America with first colonists. It turned out that the ideal vegetable for the role of Jack-o-lanterns is a pumpkin.
Halloween has many peculiarities. It is enigmatic, mystical and full of imagination. It is good and bad simultaneously. It merges all the bad and everything good. It is the same as life, it is multi-dimensional.