Happy Halloween! Get the brief

Facts you probably didn’t know about Halloween… and Encyclopedia Britannica did:

  • Halloween had its origins in the festival of Samhain, end of the harvest season, among the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland.
  • November 1 was considered the end of the summer period, the date on which the herds were returned from pasture and land tenures were renewed.
  • All saints day, November 1st, was meant to substitute Samhain, and draw the devotion of the Celtic peoples, to replace it forever.

The masks

Celtic Symbol the Triquetra and a mask symbolizing the ones used on for bonfires

People set bonfires on hilltops for relighting their hearth fires for the winter and to frighten away evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present.

The name

Many churches icelebrate All Saints’ Day to honor all the saints, particularly those who do not have their own special feast day, on November 1.

Pope in 7th century AD, declared All Saints’ Day November 1. The evening before All Saints’ Day became a holy, or hallowed, eve and thus Halloween

The world and the dead

Japan. Toro nagashi or lantern offerings on the water (top)
Mexico La Catrina, popular figure for Day of the Dead festivities (bottom)

Japan

The Festival of the Dead in Japan, which is called Obon, is held every year in the month of August.Obon festival is A Buddhist observance honoring the spirits of ancestors.Small paper lanterns, containing lit candles on a wooden or bamboo base, are set adrift on calm water. Usually a message is written on the outside of the paper lantern. The purpose of this event is to send off ancestor’s spirits.

Mexico

Mexico has two days of the dead. They celebrate All Saints Day because of the Catholic influence and in addition November 2nd is called “Day of the dead” . The tradition goes back to the time of the aztecs. They believed the dead came back to reunite with their families once a year. They were lead by the godess Mictecacihuatl, Lady of the dead.

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4 thoughts on “Happy Halloween! Get the brief

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