On the night of October 31, thousands of homes in the United States celebrate the Night of the Spirits, a tradition that has also been exported to other countries of the world, such as some in Latin America. In the North American country, the establishment of the festival began in 1845, but this was not where the celebration began, as history goes back many centuries.
The Halloween festival has its origins in Celtic culture, where it was known as Samain, meaning “end of summer”. “The nights are starting to get longer and the darkness of the night is gaining more ground from a symbolic and natural point of view,” explains promoter Javier Sierra.
The ritual, which took place at the end of October, served to mark the change of season, i.e. from the good weather of summer to the cool temperatures of autumn and winter. At that time, as still happens, the leaves of the trees also changed, which, in some way, was identified by many as death and the beginning of a new life.
That night, on 31 October, the Celts performed various rituals that revolved around the return of the dead to the living universe, and this was done on November 1, the day before All Saints’ Day. In fact, the word Halloween comes from the phrase all Hallows Eve, Which in Spanish means “All Hallows Eve”.
“The Celts felt that darkness (of night) had enveloped the world and thought that the dead took the opportunity to go into the world and take the weakest souls with them,” he says. series of mountainsA Spanish scholar who has thoroughly investigated the historical origins of Halloween.
It was from the 8th century, with Pope Gregory III, that the date of All Saints was changed to 1 November, as until now the celebration was celebrated in May.
Spirit costumes, an ancient tradition
To give a greater context to this celebration of the Night of the Souls of 31 October, we must, without a doubt, be talking about the Druids, who were the people of the priestly class (although they did not have to be priests) and they Who were present in the areas where Celtic culture was rooted. They were regions such as Great Britain, Ireland, northern Spain, Gaul (France and northern Italy) and other Celtic regions of the old continent.
According to historical documents, he was the one who established the tradition of dressing up with motifs related to spirits.
“The druids, who preceded Christianity, proposed to disguise themselves as a spirit who took advantage of the darkness of these days to take souls. In this way they would confuse them. Because they thought that if you dressed up like this, you wouldn’t go unnoticed by the Grim Reaper,” added Sierra about it.
Origin in the United States
In the United States, the establishment of Halloween celebrations began in the 19th century as a result of the Great Famine of 1845 in Ireland. This situation prompted thousands of people to emigrate to the North American country in search of a better life, and that population took that tradition with them.
Why use a light pumpkin?
In the Celtic world and in Irish traditions, a pumpkin with a candle inside it is named Jack O lanternWhich translates to “Jack, the One with the Lantern” in Spanish.
“The story tells that Jack was a flamboyant character who was not fooled. One day he has the misfortune to turn to the devil, but he manages to deceive him. He tells her that there is something more valuable than his soul.” There is something, which is hidden in a nearby tree. The devil goes to the tree to see if there was anything important and at that point Jack takes the opportunity to surround the tree with a cross and the devil is trapped,” said Sierra. Announced via podcast.
Legend tells that Jack made her an offer of a pact. He tells her that he will remove all the crosses if he promises not to take her soul, and Satan grants his request. So Jack lives in No Man’s Land, between Heaven and Hell.
“But the devil sees him so sad that he throws a burning coal at him so that there is no man, and that is the coal that this pumpkin celebrates. With a candle, with a fire, in any man’s land To illuminate the path of souls so that they decide to go to heaven or hell”, said Sierra.
That’s why pumpkins with candles inside are still used today. Somehow, it attempts to “illuminate” the lost souls that are about to be around us in order to guide them.
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