Behind the Scares

Gabriel S

Celebrating Halloween every year as a child but knowing only so much at the time, I had little clue about Halloween. Little children go out for “Trick-or-Treating,” teens watching horror films, and parents carving pumpkins, but why? Society has changed, and so has the true meaning of Halloween. Within all these activities, Halloween is celebrated as a sacred time of remembrance.

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Christian Influence

Halloween lands on a day before the holy days. November 1st is All Hallows’ Day and the following All Soul’s Day. Christians gave Halloween the name All Hallows’ Eve. All Hallows’ Day was introduced in 609 and was originally celebrated on May 13. It was moved to November 1st as Pope Gregory IV ordered. This celebration is to honour the saints that are known and unknown. All Souls’ Day is a day of prayer for the dead. Many mourn on this day trying to leave the past behind. This leads us to October 31st. All Hallows’ Eve is a day of celebration before the holy days. Christians light candles in the graves of the dead and attend church services. Halloween may be a time of fun and spookiness but it still remains a day of remembrance and holiness.

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Interpretation by Others

Although Christians may celebrate Halloween as a figurative day, many other societies celebrate it differently. In Poland, believers pray out load in the forest to comfort the souls of the dead. Ireland has a “meatless” day and serving pancakes instead. Mexico, children make altars to invite back their friends that have died. Of course the Western view. They go trick-or-treating, play fun games, attend haunted house and watch horror films. Although these activities may only be for kids, adults carve pumpkins, decorate their house and of course, give out candy.

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