It’s October already, and the world is looking forward to celebrating one of the spookiest holidays – Halloween. Halloween 2022 will be observed on the 31st of October, a Monday this year. Halloween fanatics are already planning on visiting churches and praying for the departed souls, preparing scary costumes, carving pumpkins, and binge-watching their favorite horror movies or Halloween special episode of their favorite TV show, all of these are essentially the highlights of the festival.
Though primarily a Christian festival in the west, people from all religions and cultures participate and make the most of the Halloween holidays wherever they are. But why is it celebrated? Or what’s the story behind it? Well, we are here to tell you about all things related to Halloween!
History and Significance of Halloween:
Halloween is significant as it is that time of the year that is linked to death and decay. There are many stories of how Halloween originated and how it transformed into the present form from its earlier way of celebrations and observations.
Halloween’s origin from the Celtic traditions is one of the most happening discussions around Halloween. It is believed that over 2000 years ago, the Celtic tribe of Central Europe celebrated the festival of “Samhain” marking the end of the harvest at the end of the summer. Originally, a pagan celebration, Halloween marked the Celtic New Year which was believed to be a magical time when the line between the worlds of the living and the dead is very thin and ghosts would walk the earth. The villagers gathered around donning spooky attires and lit bonfires to drive away the spirits and ensure that the evil spirits don’t bump into humans and create a nuisance!
The Catholic Church in the Vatican merged the pagan ritual with the church-sanctioned holidays amidst its growing influence in Europe. Among these holidays was the 1st of November – “All Saints Day” or “Hallowmas” where the saints and martyrs are honored, especially among family and friends. The eve of All Saints Day, that is 31st of October was observed as “All Hallows Eve” which became Halloween over time. Today, this happening holiday is celebrated with a mixture of the Celtic rituals of wearing spooky costumes and lighting bonfires, and remembering and honoring the dead along with several beautiful things.
Let’s have a look at how Halloween is celebrated around the world –
We know getting a US visa may seem like a long and tedious process, but believe us, once you get a chance to experience Halloween in the USA, you will keep going back! It is celebrated with lots of pomp and is taken pretty seriously in most parts of the USA. So, if you are a true Halloween fan then the USA is the place to be! People participate in various activities like trick-or-treating, lighting bonfires, carving pumpkins into ‘jack-o’-lanterns, apple bobbing, and playing divination games. They also play pranks, attend costume parties, visit haunted houses, tell scary stories, and even binge-watch horror movies! Some even visit the church and light candles and pray for the departed. If you are planning a US holiday during Halloween 2022, we highly recommend visiting Salem, which is famous for the Salem Witch Trials which took place in 1692.
The heart of erstwhile Celtic celebrations! Traditional Halloween dessert in Ireland is not just some random candy that you can get everywhere, it is a sweet bread called Barmbrack! If you are someone who is interested in knowing the history behind Halloween or want to experience the traditional way of Halloween celebrations, then get your Ireland visa now, as there are hardly any days left for Halloween. Traditionally, the famous Jack-o’-Lanterns used to light up homes and welcome the good spirits are not carved out of Pumpkins, but out of Turnips or Potatoes in Ireland. We highly recommend giving potato or turnip carving a try while enjoying your Ireland tour package during Halloween 2022.
If you are planning on taking a trip with your beloved for Halloween 2022, then you must check this out. There is an interesting ritual in Scotland that you must partake in on Halloween. If the love of your life and you throw nuts in the bonfire, and the nuts crack, unfortunately, you may not be hearing the wedding bells any time soon. But, if they don’t crack, then congratulations! There is a smooth sail throughout your relationship. Add this to your list of reasons why you must book a Scotland tour package and apply for your Scotland visa now!
Though technically not Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead is a pretty huge celebration in Mexico. It takes place on 2nd November and it is believed that our loved ones who have passed away visit us on this day. People make altars called “Offerendas” and decorate them with pictures of their departed and offer them a variety of food. The Aztec marigold flower and sugar skulls are an important part of the Offerendas. It gained popularity worldwide after it was featured in the James Bond movie – Spectre. Since then a large number of Bond fans have made a point to book a Mexico tour package and keep their Mexico visa ready around Halloween, to get a taste of what it feels like to be a part of their favorite secret spy’s universe.
Halloween has always intrigued people worldwide. It is a major holiday in the western part of the planet, where everyone goes all-out to participate in the festivities that not just remember the dead but also celebrate them.
It’s probably one of the few festivals that apart from being celebrated for over 2000 years has also incorporated many belief systems in such a way that it has gone out of religious shackles and is being enjoyed as a secular festivity by people of all races, regions, and religions.
The last two years, being marred by the pandemic dampened our spirits and drowned the chills and thrills of the festival of fear. But this year, we are hoping to witness the return of it with Halloween 2022 which would be celebrated with all the splendor missed in the last two years.
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