Halloween: Everything you need to know about this festival

All Hallows Eve, popularly known as Halloween, is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31

Twisha SoniUpdated: Sunday, October 31, 2021, 07:09 AM IST
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All Hallows Eve, popularly known as Halloween, is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31.

Origins

The origins of Halloween are said to be in the Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. For the Celts, who celebrated their new year on November 1, the festival of Samhain marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter. The Celts believed that on the day before the New Year, the ghosts of those who had passed away returned to Earth.

A few centuries later, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with older Celtic rites, and eventually, the Church sanctioned November 2 to be All Souls’ Day, a day to honour the dead. November 1 was celebrated as All Saints Day (which was also called All-hallows), and the day before it, the eve, October 31, became All Hallows Eve.

Significance

The day is mainly to honour and pray to the dead and ward off any evil. The Celts held holy bonfires and offered sacrifices to the Celtic Gods for protection during the long, dark winter.

Trick or Treat?

Initially held as a solemn occasion, Halloween has evolved into a more celebratory pop culture festival. Today, Halloween is a favourite among children and adults alike. Trick or treat, carving jack-o-lanterns, costume parties, spooky campfire stories, horror movie marathons, these are the popular ways in which people across the world celebrate Halloween. In recent times, people worldwide have begun to celebrate this festival with equal pomp and enthusiasm.

Going trick or treating is a cherished memory of many children in the West, where they dress up as ghosts or some fictional character and carry an empty bucket to be filled with sweets and candies. They then go to houses and ask if the inhabitants want to be tricked or excuse themselves by offering “treats”.

Many young adults dress up as pop culture icons for costume parties, which are a huge deal in Hollywood too. Celebrities often recreate some iconic looks or characters from the past in star-studded costume parties.

Halloween 2021

This year, there are many events being held globally to celebrate Halloween. The youth in Mumbai is brimming with excitement, too, with many local restaurants, malls and community spaces holding game nights, costume parties and music evenings. You can check out some of the events mentioned below:

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