The story of Halloween
Halloween has changed over time, discover how and why.
[ClickPress, Thu Oct 26 2006] Halloween is a traditional festivity, celebrated every year in Anglo-Saxon countries, on the 31st of October. It’s taken most seriously in the US, Canada, Ireland and the UK, based on pagan celebrations of the Ancient Celts Civilization.
According to historic manuscripts, Halloween dates back to traditions and customs of the civilization that occupied Gaul from the years 600 a.c to 800 a.c, where today is Portugal, Spain, Italy and Britain’s Islands. The lit up pumpkins and door to door trick or treating became popular in the United States.
Traditionally, Halloween was not related to witches. It was a festival marked on the Celts calendar, today a land we call Ireland, by druid priests, who joyfully commemorated their Gods and the dead – The Samhain festival, Lord of the dead, celebrated on the 1st of November. The festival also marked the end of summer, the coming of a new year and the abundance of crops.
They believed that on the eve of October the 31st, Samhain summoned all the spirits that for the past twelve months had been doomed to live in the bodies of animals.
On that very night, the community would gather around a fire offering their crops and animals, they were sure that it was then that the earth and the spiritual world collided. So they wore animal heads and skin as disguises to scare the spirits that were looking for human bodies.
To get ride of the spirits, the druids had to offer them food or other gifts. If the spirits were happy with what they got, they would leave the population alone, but if they were not, they would play a trick or cast a spell, destroying the people who lived there.
As Samham was a pagan celebration, it was not allowed in the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages; those who insisted on celebrating were tracked down and condemned to the fire by the Inquisition.
The trick or treating began in Ireland just a few centuries back, naturally based on the druid’s customs. A group of farmers of a small village got together and decided to honor their Gods by throwing a Halloween party. They went door to door begging for food to have at the party, the kind givers were whished good luck, but the ones that didn’t give any food were threatened.
As the celebration takes place over night, 31st of October to November the 1st, the name Halloween is believed to have come from the combination of Hallow Evening, taken to America by Irish emigrants (Celts) during the 19th Century.
For over two thousand years Halloween has become a tradition in many countries because of the American cultural influence. This date is now a celebration where children and adults dress up in the scariest costumes and go out trick or treating.
Black, orange and purple are the colors that symbolize Halloween. The main impersonations are of ghosts, witches, vampires, Jack-O-lantern, pumpkins, bats, skulls, skeletons, monsters, demons, spiders and other elements related to fear and magic as well as places our imagination takes us like cemeteries, haunted houses and other dark places.
The icon symbol is the sculpted pumpkin, lit by a candle on the inside and put on our door steps. Legend has it that an Irish folk man, named Jack, was forced to walk alone and never to let the candle blow out so that his path always had light. In order to do so he sculpted a turnip and put the candle in. And because there are no turnips in the Unites States, people started using pumpkins instead, hence the world’s famous symbol!
They are the so called Jack-O Lantern.
About the Hotels
Witches or no witches, go trick or treating in an ARTEH® Hotel.
Mediterranean charm and Italian elegance.
In the charming and attractive town of Anacapri, on the most exclusive part of the Isle of Capri in Italy, is the luxurious Capri Palace, located on the foot of Mount Solano on a place with superb views over the Mediterranean Sea.
From the rooms and the suites there are views of the sea, the Bay of Naples or the Island of Ischia. Some of the suites have works by masters of abstract painting to be appreciated and in others private gardens with swimming pools can be enjoyed. However, all the suites personify pure charm.
Farol Design Hotel
Settle into your designer chair and touch the sea.
The old Farol Guest House, once a XIX century mansion owned by the Count of Cabral, was carefully refurbished, becoming the current Farol Design Hotel, adjacent to the marina in the historical centre of Cascais.
The attention to design is a concern also present on the inside, starting with a balanced comfortable design of the interior space, created by renowned architects, and carries on through to the sober yet cosy rooms, some of which were designed by leading Portuguese designers.
Quinta da Casa Branca
Open the windows of your bedroom and get lost in the surrounding gardens.
Near the centre of Funchal, lost in a vast and ancient Madeira farm, arises the surprising Quinta da Casa Branca, fruit of a daring and award winning architectural project.
Its design is in perfect harmony with the beauty of its surroundings, creating an environment of peacefulness and profiting the most from the colourful view over the wide exotic surrounding gardens. The decoration of its interiors, luxurious and comfortable, effectively combines the classic and modern styles.
About ARTEH® – Hotels and Resorts
Best Independent Hotel Chain – Publituris Awards 2004 and 2005
ARTEH® – Hotels and Resorts is a soft brand independent Hotel Chain with a Luxury Collection of Charming & Exclusive Boutique Hotels and Resorts, with Golf and Spa.
An ARTEH® Hotel distinguishes itself by the richness of its history, the beauty of its setting, the splendour of its architecture, the style of its decor, the comfort of its rooms and the care for its guests.
For further information on ARTEH® – Hotels and Resorts please visit ARTEH®.