In anticipation of parties today, young people invent bizarre images to impress friends and scare passers-by. What does this mystical holiday hide in itself, where did such bizarre traditions come from, and is it Christian in general for Ukrainians to dress up in evil spirits costumes?
Halloween is an ancient Keltic holiday that is one of the largest and most beloved in North America. However, every year its popularity grows in other countries. In different parts it is called differently: Reformation Day, Keltic New Year or Day of the Dead. Homeland of Halloween is considered to be Ireland.
Every year on the night of October 31 to November 1, adults dress up in mystical scary characters and arrange themed parties with “scary” delicacies. Children, also dressed in costumes, go from house to house, collecting sweets, with the words “Candy or death!”. This tradition is reminiscent of Ukrainian carols.
What do they celebrate?
The Encyclopaedia of American Folklore states: “Halloween is based on contact with spiritual forces, most of which frighten or threaten the living.” On October 31, the Kelts celebrated the feast of Samhain (Samhain), whose name comes from the character of Samhain – the prince of death. They believed that it was on this day that the gates to the afterlife were opened and the souls of the dead descended to earth and, with the help of rituals, the living could establish contact with the spirits.
Halloween came to the United States in the XIX century. However, he acquired his own version of the celebration, the purpose of which was considered more entertainment and fun, while the Irish retained elements of the beliefs of the Kelts and Druids.
The Christian church could not ignore such a phenomenon as the Keltic Day of the Evil Spirits, so it was decided to introduce “All Saints’ Day” on November 1. It is a holiday of those saints who do not have their own special day. Saints and martyrs were to be glorified on this day. The people called “All Saints’ Day” Allhallowmas (the mass of all Hallows), and the night before that day was called All Hallows Eve – “Eve of All Saints”. Hence the name of the holiday – Halloween.
Why change clothes?
There are several versions of the origin of the tradition of dressing up in Halloween in various evil spirits. Some believe that the Celts believed that by scary appearance, disguised in animal skins, they scare away ghosts. According to another version, in this way the Celts tried to appease Samhain to allow the souls of the dead to visit their homes. And to escape the curse of the prince of death, they also prepared food for nomadic souls and turned off the lights in their homes.
Halloween in Ukraine
A holiday similar to Halloween also existed in Kievan Rus. It was called Navy Day (from the Old Slavic “nav” – dead, deceased, deceased, deceased) or Provody and was celebrated in the spring. This holiday still exists in Ukraine. However, the traditions of the celebration are somewhat different. On New Year’s Day, the Slavs began ritual visits to graves with the laying on of food (interpreted as sacrifices).
Halloween came to Ukraine during the collapse of the Soviet Union. It became more and more popular every year. Young people organize themed parties, witches, vampires and zombies “walk” on the streets, and pumpkin dishes appear on the menu of restaurants.
Members of the English Club – first year students of the Faculty of Finance and Economics of the National Academy of Statistics, Accounting and Audit (PUA-1, 21.08) and second year (FBSS-2, 20.04) also celebrated this day with interesting mystical images and joined those who celebrate Halloween with the hope that EVERYTHING WILL BE GOOD!