History Of Halloween | Pumpkin Carving | Jack-O-Lantern – Like other popular festivals, Halloween is also one of the famous and widely celebrated festivals in the western countries. Each and Every Year American commemorates the festival on 31st October which will fall this year on Monday. But many of us are unaware of the facts and origin of these happening holiday and so we have come up with the details of its History, Origin, Facts and Wiki Information.
Halloween History, Origin, Facts & Wiki Information
Origin & History of Halloween – These favorite and prominent Halloween Festival carries age-old traditions and beliefs which are a time of celebration and superstition. The day lands between fall and winter which holds the meaning of plenty and paucity, life and death. This ancient festival has its roots in Samhain, an ancient harvest festival held at the end of the Celtic Year. Earlier it was strongly believed that the spirits of the dead returned on this eve to damage the crops and also to play scary tricks on living beings. There were also superstitious beliefs that Celtic Priests, Druids had the supernatural power to make predictions about the future which they applied during large bonfire celebrations. These Priests wore animal skins and used to sacrificed crops and animals to the spirits.
In early 43 A.D, Romans came to the Celtic territories of modern day England, Northern France and Scotland and became the first people to influence the celebration of Samhain. The tradition of apple bobbing during Halloween began during their period when Romans enjoyed the celebrations of two cultural festivals, one the Feralia Roman Day to honor the dead in late October and another to honor Pomona the holiday to honor Roman Goddess of Fruits and trees.
It was on May 13, 609 A.D. Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome to honor and welcome all the Christian Martyrs. At this time the Catholic Feast of All Martyrs Day were established in the Western Church. The Day gradually changed from May 13 to November 1 when Pope Gregory III (731-741 A.D) later on extended the festival period in order to include all saints as well as martyrs. But it was in the 9th Century the older Celtic rites were replaced and blended with the influence of Christianity who spread widely across Celtic lands. November 2, was designated as All Souls Day to honor the dead by all churches in the year 1000 A.D. This festival was known by Celtic Festival of Dead which was sanctioned as a public holiday by Churches. So it began with the tradition to celebrate All Souls Day similarly to that of the early Samhain festival by having large bonfires, parades and also dressing up in different costumes as angels, saints, and devils. What we celebrate today as All–hallows or All-Hallowmas got originated From All Saints Day Celebration. The Hallow Eve night emerged from the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion which is today celebrated as Halloween Festival.
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Pumpkin Carving History, Origin, Facts & Wiki Information
History of Pumpkin Carving Origin – Pumpkins finds its importance with the arrival of Halloween Festival in the United States. Carving Pumpkins is the popular Halloween Tradition that originated hundreds of years ago in Ireland. It is the most recognizable symbol of Halloween. Pumpkins came into existence when European Settlers, particularly the Irish arrived in America they found the native Pumpkin larger in size which was easier to carve which appeared as the perfect size for Jack-O-Lanterns. During Every Halloween, communities in Ireland would craft their own turnip lamps to scare each other and let other wayward spirits away.
Native Americans Indians used pumpkins as a staple in their diet centuries before the Irish Pilgrims landed in the country. They also used to dry pumpkins into strips and wove them into beautiful mats. Pumpkins were also used by the Indians to roast long strips on the open fire and eat them. When American arrived to settle there, they found Pumpkins grown by Indians and thereby the fruit became a staple in their diet. Today these settlers used Pumpkins in different recipes right from desserts to soups and stews. The Colonists sliced off the Pumpkin Top, removed the seeds and then filled with spices, milk, and honey to make them into delicious Pumpkin Pie. These Pumpkins were later on baked in the hot ashes of dying fire.
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Jack O Lantern History, Origin, Facts & Wiki Information
Origin & History of Jack O Lantern – It is also believed that the evolution of Pumpkin carving into Jack- O- Lantern came with an Irishman nicknamed Stingy Jack who used to play tricks on everyone including the devil. At one moment of trick playing in order for the devil to be freed from Stingy Jacks trick, the Devil had to promise him that he would never take away his soul. After the death of Stingy Jack, he was not accepted in heaven due to his sinful activities and due to devils promise he was also not allowed into hell as well. So he was left alone into the dark where later on the devil gave him an ember with eternal flames from hell to walk with. It was at this time he carved a turnip and placed a light inside it to find his way through the darkness for eternity.
The tradition of carving Jack-O-Lanterns originated from the carving faces of lost souls into hollowed out Pumpkins and turnips. The practice of decorating Jack-O-Lantern brought the tradition to America, home of Pumpkin which became an integral part of Halloween Festivities.