Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What is Halloween and what do its celebrations involve?

According to Historian Nicolas Rogers, folkists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds or the festival of the dead which is linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain (summer’s end), falling on the last day of Autumn . There was also a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen. In order to ward off these spirits, natives were symbolically regenerative bonfires and invoked the help of the gods through animal and perhaps even human sacrifice.

 Nowadays, Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve, is not celebrated in all countries and regions of the world. This influence has extended to places such as South America, Australia, New Zealand, continental Europe, Japan and other parts of East Asia. Halloween is an annual holiday observed on October 31, which commonly includes activities such as trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns , bonfires, apple-bobbing, visiting haunted attractions , playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films. The imaginery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of gothic and horror literature such as the novels Frankenstain and Dracula, and classic horror films such as The Mummy.

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