Saturday, 11 October 2014

Hallow's Eve

Among Christmas, Easter, and New Years, Halloween is a very old holiday celebrated throughout the world. And it is coming in just seventeen days!

There are two ways people celebrate Halloween. There is trick-or-treating, the practice of knocking on peoples' doors with costumes around dusk and asking for candy. However, this only works well in certain neighborhoods as many people do not give out treats at Halloween. Another way of celebrating is going to parties, almost any type, although most require costumes.

Why is "Halloween Eve" the evening of Halloween, and not the day before? The answer lies in the holiday's origin.

There used to be an ancient holiday on the first of November called All Saint's Day, the day when ghosts were apparently the most active. People celebrated at the end of the day, so happy they were that it was over. The celebration dated back to the Middle Ages.

Someone wondered what time of  All Saints' Day would be the worst. This guy chose not the day, but the night before. Everybody struggled to find a good name for this night. They finally settled with "All Hallows' Eve" or just "Hallows' Eve".

On the spookiest night of the year, why not sit inside, around the fire? Why not party, and be merry? Soon, more parties happened on Hallows' Eve than on All Saints' Day itself. All Saints' Day slowly faded away into nothing much more than history. Some still celebrate it, but not the people who celebrate Halloween.

The cat, bat, and owl were quickly adopted as symbols of Halloween, as hunters of the night. Stories such as Bram Stoker's Dracula were also associated with Halloween, just because they were spooky.

Soon, the holiday we know as Halloween began to assemble. It is no longer a time to fear, but a time to look forward to.

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