【The Origin of Halloween万圣节来历】
Halloween is a popular festival in many countries all over the world, and every year it seems to get bigger.
Its getting dark earlier and its starting to get cold. Christmas is stilla long way away.
We need something to cheer us up and take our minds of the fact that winter is nearly here. See how much you know about the traditional festival of Halloween.
The origins of the name
The festival of Halloween has its roots in Celtic and Roman traditions. Over 2,000 years ago the Celts in Britain, Ireland and parts of France celebrated Samhain to mark the beginning of winter. When the Romans invaded, they merged this with Feralia, their celebration of the passing of the dead.
As Christianity spread, the Church tried to replace these pagan feasts with official Church holy days. One of these was November 1.
It was called “All Hallows”, and October 31 was known as“All Hallows Eve”, and then Halloween.
In the past there was a tradition called “souling”. Poor people went around houses asking for food. In exchange, they promised to say prayers for the dead.
People no longer go souling, but the habit has beentransformed into a modern Halloween game for children in America,who dress up as ghosts, witches and monsters and go around peopleshouses.
Halloween wouldnt be fun without witches. Witches have alwaysbeen part of popular folklore. Shakespeares play “Macbeth” opens withthree witches.
A witchwas someone — usually a woman— who hadspecial powers and had dealings with the devil.
The American town,Salem, is famous for the “witchcraft trials”, which took place there in1692.
The pumpkin has become a symbol of Halloween.People empty a pumpkin, cut a face into the side, and puta candle inside to make a lamp.
Its known as a Jack O Lantern, from a story about a man called Jack, who made a deal with the devil.
Black cats, frogs, mice and spiders are just some of the animals associated with Halloween. Generally, the more unpleasant the animal,the stronger the Halloween connection.
Nocturnal animals like bats are particular favourites, and if, as is the case with vampire bats, they like drinking blood, they are highon the Halloween list.
if the flame of a candle flickers and then turns blue, there's a spirit in the room.
if a bird flies through your house, it indicates important news. if it can't get out, the news will be death.
if you feel a chill up your spine, someone is walking on your future grave.
a person born on halloween will have the gift of communicating with the dead.
a bat in the house is a sign of death.
if a bird flies towards you, bad fortune is imminent.
if your palm itches, you will soon receive money. if you itch it, your money will never come.
crows are viewed as a bad omen, often foretelling death. if they caw, death is very near.
many romans wore lucky charms and amulets to avert the "evil eye."
if a person experiences great horror, their hair turns white.
a hat on a bed will bring bad luck.
eat an apple on christmas eve for good health the next year.
the superstition of knocking on wood for good luck originates from pagan beliefs in regards to trees.