Halloween or Halloween (without determiner) is a festival which takes place on the night of October 31 to November 1. This festival is celebrated mainly in Ireland, Canada, Australia, Great Britain and the United States. The best known tradition is for children to dress up in costumes that are scary or ridiculous (ghosts, witches, monsters, vampires, for example) and go ring the door by asking adults, often disguised themselves, candy , Fruit or money with the formula: Trick or treat! ("Trick or treat!") or simply "Happy Halloween! . Other activities include masked balls, watching horror films, visiting houses, "haunted" and so on.

Halloween is an Anglo-Saxon folk, which lend a certain Celtic origin, based on the coincidence of the calendar 1 November, a period of ancient Celtic religious festival of Samhain. This tradition was transported to North America in the nineteenth century by Irish, Scots and other immigrants.

The main symbol of Halloween is the pumpkin from the Irish legend of Jack-o'-lantern: it is cut to draw on, and hollow, a face, then place a candle in its center.

Halloween is a pagan folk and traditional Celtic with a distant origin. During the early history Celtic, was a religious festival - Samhain in Ireland Samonios Gaul - which took place under the authority of the Druids, for seven days (the day of Samhain himself and three days before and three days later). "It's a celebration of the past year closing and opening of the coming year. The time of Samhain is one of the Sidh (another world) briefly confused with that of humanity ". This is the period of possible meetings between some men and mythical gods of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Celebrations Druidic Ireland have disappeared in the fifth century with the arrival of a new religion, Christianity. The Christian feast of All Saints, which is backed Halloween has been established that the ninth century by Pope Gregory IV. The extensive medieval Irish literature, developed by the clergy between the eighth and twelfth, only mentions the sacred festival of Samhain.

The etymology of the word Halloween belongs strictly to the English language, unrelated to the Gaelic or any other Celtic language. Its current name is an alteration of All Hallows Eve, which literally means "the evening of All Saints', that is to say, before the Christian feast of All Saints (Hallow is an archaic form of the word English meaning holy holy, event is an unusual form which formed evening, at night). Spelling Hallowe'en is still sometimes used in Canada and the United Kingdom, "e'en"is the contraction of even, become "een". In a horror show episode of the Simpsons series, the origin of Halloween is parodied.

Jack-O'-Lantern is probably the most popular character associated with Halloween. It comes from an old Irish tale. Jack was a miser, a drunkard character, evil and selfish. One evening, while he was in a tavern, the devil appeared to him and claimed his soul.

Jack asked the devil to give him a drink, a nightcap before heading to hell. The Devil agreed and was transformed into a sixpence. Jack enters and immediately placed in her purse. The latter has a lock-shaped cross, the Devil could not escape. Finally, Jack agreed to free the devil, on condition that he gives him one more year to live. Twelve months later, Jack made another joke at the Devil, leaving the top of a tree (on which he had burned a cross with his knife) with the promise that he would pursue more.

When Jack died, the entry to Paradise was refused, and the devil also refused to admit him to hell. Jack still manages to convince the devil to give him a piece of burning coal to light his way in the dark. He put the coal in a hollowed turnip as a lantern and was condemned to wander aimlessly until doomsday. He was then called Jack of the Lantern (Jack of the lantern in English), or Jack-o'-lantern. It reappears every year on the day of his death on Halloween.

Originally, the symbol of Halloween had a turnip containing a candle to commemorate the legend of Jack-o'-lantern (Jack of the lantern), condemned to wander forever in darkness between heaven and hell in lighting up a brand placed in a turnip. The turnip was gradually replaced by a pumpkin itself sometimes replaced by another vegetable: it is cut to draw on, and hollow, his face grimacing, then place a candle in its center. Even if there is a tradition of the British Isles consisting carving a lantern from a rutabaga, a fodder beet or a turnip, the practice was associated with Halloween in North America, where the pumpkin was larger and easier to carve.

The imagery surrounding Halloween is largely an amalgamation of the Halloween season itself (season when the nights are getting longer and longer compared to the day), or almost a century of artistic performances (in films U.S.), and a willingness mercantile market that relates to dark and mysterious [ref. necessary]. This usually involves death, magic, or mythical monsters. The characters commonly associated with Halloween are ghosts, ghouls, witches, vampires, bats, owls, crows, vultures, haunted houses, characters head pumpkin, black cats, spiders , goblins, zombies, mummies, skeletons, werewolves and demons. Especially in North America, symbolism is inspired by classic horror films, with characters like Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Werewolf and the Mummy. Homes are often decorated with these symbols.

Orange and black are the colors traditionally associated with Halloween. In revenues and more recent images, there are also purple, green and red. The use of these colors is in part due to their use in advertisements relevant to this festival for over a century.

Passage of Halloween
The main event of the festival is the "passing of Halloween" during which children dressed go door to door demanding candy. Small English shouting "Trick or treat! "which means" Trick or trick! . In this sense, Halloween was originally known as the "Night of the towers" in the first regions of Quebec where it spread, including the Gaspe, where several Irish and JERS settled in the nineteenth century. Even if it looks like an older tradition from Scotland and Ireland, collection of Halloween ritual appears only in the early twentieth century in North America, and may have developed independently. The inhabitants of the house, often disguised themselves, give candy, chocolate bars, and even soft drinks. Some people use sound effects and smoke to add to the ambience.

Collecting for UNICEF
Collecting for UNICEF has become a tradition during Halloween in North America. Starting in 1950 as a local event in a suburb of Philadelphia, the program involves the distribution of small boxes to school children, with whom they can solicit donations by visiting the houses. It is estimated that children have raised over U.S. $ 119 million for UNICEF since the program began. In 2006, UNICEF withdrew these boxes in some parts of the world, citing safety and administrative problems.

See also Candy


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