Halloween originates from Ireland. But what do Celts have to do with this festival? Where does the «trick or treat» and illuminated pumpkins come from? Here are the answers.
For the Celts, the gates to the realm of the dead opened
Skeleton, witch, or vampire at the door? Then it's certainly Halloween, and the dressed-up kids are on their hunt for candies. Halloween is of Irish origin and goes back to the Celtic festival Samhain. It represented the end of summer and was celebrated on October 31. Samhain was also the Celtic New Year, marked the beginning of winter and represented a kind of harvest festival. The Celts believed that on this evening the gates to the realm of the dead were open.
Bonfires, fortune-telling and feast of the dead at Samhain
The festival was celebrated with bonfires on the hills. Sometimes people dressed up to drive away evil spirits. Even fortune-telling was common on this date. People whispered to each other that whoever was born on this day could see ghosts. On the day after Samhain, people celebrated a great feast for the dead, which was later replaced by the Christian church with the feasts of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.
From the turnip to the illuminated pumpkin
Today's «trick or treat» originates from England and Ireland. There, people went from door to door, sang a song and asked for «soul cakes». With each soul cake you got, you redeemed a soul from purgatory. The custom of decorating with pumpkins originated in Ireland. It goes back to the villain Jack Oldfield, who deceived the devil. Despite this, after his death, the devil gave him a turnip and a glowing coal, so that he would not have to wander around in the dark. The origin of the illuminated pumpkin was therefore an illuminated turnip. In the USA, it became a pumpkin. And in the meantime, the jack-o'-lantern is also a symbol of Halloween in our country.

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