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May 22, 2022
ARTS & LEISURE

Happy Halloween!

Although in Romania is mainly celebrated by young people and expats, Halloween is one of the funniest and best-sold celebrations in the world. In Romania, on November 1, only Catholics celebrate the All Souls Day, while Orthodox believers have it three we

The celebrations liked with the autumn are commemorated all through the world in different forms. Most colourful are festivities in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Latin America, and Spain, All Souls’ Day, the third day of the three-day Hallowmas observance, is the most important part of the celebration for many people. In Ireland and Canada, Halloween, which was once a frightening and superstitious time of year, is celebrated much as it is here in the United States, with trick-or-treating, costume parties, and fun for all ages. In Mexico, Latin America, and Spain, All Souls’ Day, which takes place on November 2, is commemorated with a three-day celebration that begins on the evening of October 31. The celebration is designed to honour the dead who, it is believed, return to their earthly homes on Halloween. Many families construct an altar to the dead in their homes to honour deceased relatives and decorate it with candy, flowers, photographs, samples of the deceased’s favourite foods and drinks, and fresh water. Often, a wash basin and towel are left out so that the spirit can wash before indulging in the feast.


Another autumn celebration is in UK Guy Fawkes’ Day. On the evening of November 5, bonfires are lit throughout England. Effigies are burned and fireworks are set off. Although it falls around the same time and has some similar traditions, this celebration has little to do with Halloween or the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. In Ireland, where Halloween originated, the day is still celebrated much as it is in the United States. In rural areas, bonfires are lit as they were in the days of the Celts, and all over the country, children get dressed up in costumes and spend the evening “trick-or-treating” in their neighborhoods. After trick-or-treating, most people attend parties with neighbors and friends. At the parties, many games are played, including “snap-apple,” a game in which an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe or tree and players attempt to bite the hanging apple. In addition to bobbing for apples, parents often arrange treasure hunts, with candy or pastries as the “treasure.”


One of the best known symbols is the pumpkin. Pumpkin carving is a popular part of modern America’s Halloween celebration. Come October, pumpkins can be found everywhere in the country from doorsteps to dinner tables. People have been making jack o’lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

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