Holidays

United Kingdom - Halloween

Halloween

This year: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

For many years Halloween was not recognized in the United Kingdom as anything but an event that happens in the United States and has to do with ghosts and spirits. However, originally Halloween occurred as a Pagan festival among the Celts of Ireland and Britain between 600 BC-50 AD. In its current style, the holiday of Halloween reached America through Irish and Scottish immigrants passing on the tradition during the nineteenth century. Today Halloween is celebrated on the 31st of October in the majority of western cultures including: United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Ireland and United Kingdom.

In Ireland it was called All Hallows' Eve, a term that continues to be acknowledged even today. Generally, the holiday of Halloween can have altered names in different languages: in Irish it is "Oiche Shamhna", in Scottish it's called "Samhuin" and in Welsh - "Calaan Gaeaf". More proverbial names are given to Halloween in some parts of Ireland, where it is referred to as Pooky Night, a name derived from a mischievous spirit.

So what does Halloween actually celebrate? The ancient Celtic festival was based on the belief that on the Halloween night the bounds between our world and the next would weaken, thus making possible for souls of dead to cross over and communicate with the living. Due to this belief, an important part of the feast involved building huge bonfires, which were thought to welcome friendly spirits and to chase away or frighten the dangerous ones. During this celebration people would dress up in animal heads and skins. As October is near the harvesting time of year, the custom of sacrifices and thanking gifts was largely practiced.

Nowadays, on the eve of Halloween celebration, adults and children dress fancy costumes and accessories that can be found to everyone's choice and preferences. It has also become a tradition to use wigs in wild colours and styles, masks and hats of every shape to mimic the evil spirits. Lately, even face and body painting is used to compliment one's party look

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