04.11.2013

Articles on history of medicine 5th

The origin of Halloween day is related to the Celtic New Year festival of Samhain.There is a belief which says that on the Halloween day the evil spirits descend to the earth and scare the people and so the Celtic people to ward off these evil spirits used to paint their faces or put on a mask along with a scary outfit along with masks.
This custom is still followed in different places with different names where both children and adults dress up as witches, ghosts, pirates, etc and visit houses. But the result of this will be either they get sweets or sometimes as a part of fun see the blunt end of stick.
Apart from this Halloween day is also celebrated as a cultural event in many countries like Ireland, Scotland and parts of Northern England, Central and South America, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Romania, Switzerland, Italy and Denmark. In countries like Lebanon, Syria and Palestine a festival similar to Halloween is celebrated in the name of Saint Barbara's Day or Eid il-Burbara. Halloween day is celebrated on the 31st of October.Origin and HistoryAccording to historical records the Halloween day is celebrated on the eve of the popular religious festival All Saint's Day on 1st November in Northern European countries.
But however according to many other records the history of Halloween lies in the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain which is a festival mostly celebrated by the people belonging Gaelic culture at the end of the harvest season. There was a strong belief which says that on this particular day the dead souls gets active and comes to the earth creating trouble for the living souls.


Apart from this bonfires will be lit and bones of the dead animals will be thrown in it.Legends This legend of Jack-O-Lantern is associated with an Irish folklore. One day Jack happened to come across a devil and immediately he planned a trick and so he asked the devil to climb the nearby tree to pick some fruit. Once the devil climbed the tree Jack placed a cross on the lower bark, to prevent the demon's exit from the tree.
Then he demanded the devil that he will let him go only if the devil promises not to take him to the hell after his death. Jack happened to have a turnip in his pocket and he placed the coal in the big root to make the first Jack-O-Lantern. Thus this is the reason behind why people light the way for they believe on this day the dead may walk along with the other living human beings.
Popular Halloween Traditions & RitualsTrick or TreatingThis is the most common tradition followed on the day of Halloween, where the children dress up in different scary costumes and go from house to house asking for treats such as candy. At every house they go they put forth a question to the owner of the house as 'trick or treat'?


Thus during Halloween people buy lot of candies for the children coming home for the trick or treat game.Wearing CostumesWearing of different kind of costumes is another tradition generally practiced though it is more for fun. The costumes for the day are mainly like that of a demon, devil, ghost, ghoul, grim reaper, monster, mummy, skeleton, vampire, warlock, werewolf and witches.Making Jack-O'-LanternThe making of Jack-O-Lanterns on Halloween is a custom followed from the Irish folklore. Later, the carved pumpkin is given a mass burial.Halloween Celebration IdeasUsually on the day of Halloween the houses and graveyards are decorated with small trinkets having some association with the evil spirits. Sometimes as a part celebration children craft out their own decorative items.'Trick or treat, is the major part of celebration for the eve of the Halloween day during which children and sometimes even elders dress up like ghosts and monsters and go around only to get candies or to see the blunt end of sticks.
As a part of activity and to find out a persons future spouse is to carve an apple in one long strip, then toss the peel over one's shoulder and the peel is said to land in the shape of the first letter of the future spouse's name. There is also another activity in which an unmarried women is said to sit in a dark room and gaze at the mirror for a long time and after which it is believed that face of the spouse appears in the mirror.



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