What is Halloween? A lot of frightening fun and children playing trick or treat. The aim is to find the scariest and most recognisable costume, get as many sweets as possible, and stay up all night to meet all the monsters, vampires and demons.
Halloween in Ireland
It all began in about 1000AD when the Celts celebrated the end of the summer. Dressed in disguises, they lit bonfires to keep the evil dead spirits that would visit the world of the living away. What is more, they believed that the bonfire would make their dreams, especially those concerning a future husband or wife, come true. The next day, the ashes were scattered across the fields to bring good fortune for the following year.
The spooky legend of Stingy Jack
One of the most enchanting and fascinating parts of Halloween are jack-o-lanterns. The scary-looking carved pumpkins peer out from windows or porches of all the houses around you, and I admit, it does give me creeps sometimes. How did it start? The Irish tell the story of a man, Stingy Jack, who tricked the Devil. When Jack died, God would not allow him to enter heaven, and obviously, Devil wouldn’t take him to hell. Jack was left alone to wander in the dark forever, all that he was given was a piece of burning coal to light his way. He put the coal into a carved-up turnip and continues to roam the Earth to this day.
When the Irish immigrants went to America, they brought the tradition with them, but because turnips were hard to find, they would use the pumpkins.
Trick or treat
The origins of the play (loved by children all around the world) can be found centuries ago, when the poor Irish people would go from one door to another asking for some food to celebrate the special evening.
Halloween in Poland?
I don’t mean to be bitter and speak badly about my country, but even the day that could actually be a happy and colourful one, needs to be turned into something evil, immoral and irreligious. Children should be hidden at home, but if their parents really want them to participate in these wicked events, it’s best if children were dressed as their Roman Catholic patron saints. So, where’s the fun in that?
In the past Halloween was connected with the spiritual world, the world of ghosts, and the ways to protect yourself from them. Now, it seems it’s more of a commercial holiday, aimed at having fun and spending money on costumes and candies. If you can afford it and you don’t steal costumes from other children, what’s wrong about it? And PLEASE don’t tell me that it offends the spirits of our beloved dead ones, cause I don’t believe my Dad would mind seeing his grandchildren running around the neighbourhood, laughing and asking for something sweet. Nor can I imagine saints being resentful about the living having a great time. We all remember about the ones who are no longer with us, we spend 1 November thinking about them, remembering their lives, the influence they had on us, but it doesn’t mean we have to behave like martyrs the day before.
So, prepare your costume, put on your comfy shoes and enjoy the evening! Just don’t eat too many sweets, that will make your belly cry.