Find out some more about the traditional festival of Hallowe'en.

Magazine - Hallowe'en

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Hallowe'en

Hallowe'en is a popular festival in many countries all over the world, and every year it seems to get bigger. It's getting dark earlier and it's starting to get cold. Christmas is still a long way away. We need something to cheer us up and take our minds off the fact that winter is nearly here. Find out some more about the traditional festival of Hallowe'en.

The origins of the name

The festival of Hallowe'en has its roots in Celtic and Roman traditions. Over 2,000 years ago the Celts in Britain, Ireland and parts of France celebrated Samhain to mark the beginning of winter. When the Romans invaded, they merged this with Feralia, their celebration of the passing of the dead. As Christianity spread, the Church tried to replace these pagan feasts with official Church holy days. One of these was November 1. It was called All Saints Day, or "All Hallows", and October 31 was known as "All Hallows' Eve", and then Hallowe'en.

Hallowe'en traditions

In the past there was a tradition called "souling". Poor people went around houses asking for food. In exchange, they promised to say prayers for the dead. People no longer go souling, but the habit has been transformed into a modern Hallowe'en game for children in America, who dress up as ghosts, witches and monsters and go around people's houses, asking for sweets. This game is called 'Trick or Treat’.

Witches

Hallowe'en wouldn't be fun without witches. Witches have always been part of popular folklore. Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" opens with three witches. A witch was someone - usually a woman - who had special powers and had dealings with the devil. The American town, Salem, in the state of Massachusetts, is famous for the "witchcraft trials", which took place there in 1692.

Pumpkins

The pumpkin has become a symbol of Hallowe'en. People empty a pumpkin, cut a face into the side, and put a candle inside to make a lamp. It's known as a Jack O'Lantern, from an Irish legend about a man called Jack, who made a deal with the devil.

Animals

Black cats, frogs, mice and spiders are just some of the animals associated with Hallowe'en. Generally, the more unpleasant the animal, the stronger the Hallowe'en connection. Nocturnal animals like bats are particular favourites, and if, as is the case with vampire bats, they like drinking blood, they are high on the Hallowe'en list.

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Hi,
In my country we didn't celebrate this festival. We celebrated only All Saints Day. A day to remember the persons of the family who had died. The families went to the cemeteries, with flowers and prayed  for them. But it's true lately Halloween fest is getting its place and suppose its popularity will increase more and more/little by little.

hi!
Hallowe'ne sounds like a very interesting festival I've just heard about it because it is not celebrated in India, but someday I would like to take part in it.....

Hi all,
In my country it's not very popular, but some groups celebrate it in night clubs, wearing a dress of witch. We call it witch day.
 

halloween is a very interesting festival , i have read about it through books and watched it in films and serials . its really an interesting one

Hi everyone I'm from Chile. I think Halloween it's a about have fun, in chile people enjoy this celebration, but i'm sure that most people don't know what it is about, so people use to dress their child like magic characters so the intention of scary is almost invisible.
Greetings from Chile, bye !

I think Hallowe'en is about a pumpkin's face lantern and wear a dress of ghost or witch. I don't have celebrate this festival in my country because it's not important but I hope can make up like ghost and play 'trick and treat' as a kid.In my country I think my favourite festival is Chinese New year. It's a one festival can receive angpao.

yea In my country Halloween become more and more popular .But i've never celebrated it. I hope i will

hi all..
talk about hallowe'en we'll remember about pumpkin,scary thing and the word "trick or treat". i think hallowe'en is a fun and nice event cause we can have fun with friends, tell a ghost story and etc.
in my country, we very seldom celebrate hallowe'en. but, there's some teenagers celebrate hallowe'en with gather in someplace and wear hallowe'en custom and have a party.
about my favorite festival is chinese new year, it's nice festival for me cause we can gather with all of our family. 

In my country we dont celebrate Hollow en,but we have Eid e norouz,the traditional celebration for new year!

Hi to all :) 
We don't celebrate this event in my country in Bosnia. But I noticed there are some small groups of  young people who wear some costumes for Hallowe'en. It's happening for almost two-tree years. You can watch some horrors on that night in cinemas. 

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