What is Halloween?
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What Does Halloween Mean
The concept of Halloween arises as a contraction of the English expression “All Hallows 'Eve” , which in our language translates as “ All Hallows' Eve ” . It is a celebration that is also known as Halloween , Night of the Eve of the Dead or Night of the Dead .
Halloween is celebrated every October 31 at night, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries. This holiday combines elements of two other commemorations: Celtic Samhain (which marked the close of the harvest season) and Christian All Saints' Day (in honor of the deceased who have already overcome purgatory and enjoy eternal life with God. ).
In the mid- 19th century , Halloween began to take hold in the United States from Irish immigration. In the 1920s the celebration became massive and already in the ' 70s and' 80s it spread throughout almost the entire Western world thanks to films and television series that showed the customs and practices linked to the date.
One of the most widespread customs of Halloween is that children walk the streets while forcing people to choose between "candy or trick" or "trick or treat" (from English "trick or treat" ). The adult, in this framework, must deliver a candy if he does not want to suffer a "trick" (some kind of joke).
Another Halloween habit is the creation of a jack-o'-lantern : a pumpkin that is hollowed out, a face carved, and a candle inserted so that it can illuminate.
One of the less apparent characteristics of Halloween is that it is celebrated in many countries, beyond the United States, and not all in the same way; that is, although they all carry out activities in common, these have been colored by local customs to give rise to a large number of interesting variations.
In Spain, for example, Halloween is very powerful, although children do not go house to house asking for sweets, but the celebration focuses especially on the use of costumes on the streets and, as in almost all the world, themed parties. The English, for their part, celebrate it in a very similar way to their North American brothers, but they are characterized by being more competitive with respect to their costumes . In Canada, the main difference is that the costumes are not usually of the living dead, but more typical of a carnival.
The United States is the country that we currently associate with this festival , and from there icons such as the aforementioned illuminated pumpkin have emerged. On the night of October 31, children and adults disguised as ghosts and monsters walk through the streets in search of sweets, while others stay at home enjoying a good scary movie.
In this framework, one of the fundamental points of Halloween is the choice of costume, something that can also be done today through mobile applications that show us the trends of the moment. It is worth mentioning that in the United States not only do local people celebrate Halloween, but this peculiar October night is one of the reasons that drives many foreigners to visit the country.
But the celebration does not end with the costumes: another fundamental Halloween custom is to decorate the house with all kinds of elements typical of a horror story , both outside and inside. This contributes to the transformation of the streets.
"Halloween" is also the title of a film series created by John Carpenter , whose central character is a murderous psychopath named Michael Myers .