Vampires, wandering dead, witches, drowned women – this is not a horror movie, this is a holiday. Which one, let me ask, because celebration is light, joy, and not heroes who have risen from hell. The answer is simple – this is Halloween, or as it is commonly called in Western countries, All Saints Day.
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This holiday entered our culture not so long ago, in my childhood I still do not remember it. But today’s children have already managed to feel the taste of strange fun. True, I want to note that recently interest in Halloween has somewhat subsided, perhaps this is due to the revival of Russian culture, I would like to believe it. But since he hasn’t completely disappeared, I think it will be interesting to know where this tradition came from, because changing into a dead man’s costume is not as harmless fun as it seems.
Scary time of the year
The holiday itself falls on October 31st. This is a turning point in nature. It’s getting colder, hungrier and generally winter is approaching. Trees fall asleep, animals hide, and insects die altogether. Note that the word death appears here repeatedly. The ancestors most likely knew about it.
And if now, in the world of modern technologies, when electricity can shine around the clock, and there is always food in the refrigerator, it is much easier to survive the winter, then in ancient times this issue was taken much more seriously.
I would even say with apprehension and a desire to appease evil spirits.
In addition, people believed that it was during this period that all sorts of changes took place in the universe and the boundaries between the worlds became thinner. At this time, the souls of the dead can fly in to visit the family and those who are alive. But this is at best, but it happens when the living can be visited and not with good intentions.
And in order to buy off such “enemies” the holiday was invented.
Halloween has several must-have attributes. These are sweets, in the form of different parts of the body, for example, legs, hands, head, fingers, eyes, tongue.
In fact, real sacrifices were once made, but over time they were replaced by edible ones made from sugar and caramel.
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The next attribute is a pumpkin with glowing eyes. In fact, this is not just a vegetable with candles inserted in the middle. This is Jack Lantern’s head. You can read about it in my previous article.
Horror movie feast
Perhaps you thought that the holiday is held only with a treat and “decoration”. No, it requires active members. And people themselves become these participants, however, they dress up in costumes.
Children, teenagers, and often adults visit their neighbors with the words: “Sweet or nasty!” Taught by previous experience, neighbors know that it is better to prepare a treat in advance and not skimp, otherwise there will be trouble. If the disguised dead and vampires don’t like sweets, then the house will certainly be thrown with rotten eggs and it will take a long time to wash it.
This is the difference from our traditions. After all, at Christmas or at Epiphany, our children also go home, but no one ever thinks of doing dirty tricks on the “stingy” neighbors.
Costume parades are taking place in Japan and France. Just imagine that more than 30 thousand witches, goblins, ghosts and other evil spirits are walking along the city streets.
Every self-respecting American seeks to dress up in any character who is somehow connected with evil spirits.
However, in China, another holiday is celebrated on this day. It is simple but touching to me. Water, bread and a lantern are placed in front of the photograph of the deceased person. Light is needed to show the soul the way home. Such care for a close relative is touching.
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And Buddhists make “boats of heaven”. Then the paper boats are burned. The smoke from them should help the souls of the dead get to heaven.
Games with the lord of darkness
Still, in most countries, especially English-speaking, these are carnivals with dressing up in appropriate outfits.
Disguised as vampires and witches, a person tries in this way to outwit the evil spirits, to pretend to be “his”, so that the devil bypasses him. But in reality, the devil goes around on the other side. And then the person himself, without suspecting, is in his power.
In the meantime, carefree teenagers are walking, with “torn” mouths painted to the ears, with smiles of “vampires”, enjoying the devilish fun and being under the delusion that they have managed to conduct evil spirits. Is that so?
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