Nowadays, Halloween has become increasingly fashionable in Europe: Halloween greetings on social media sites, Halloween parties and costumes, and sometimes even European children follow the American tradition and go ‘trick or treating’ on October 31st. However, many people argue that Halloween is a foreign holiday, and some European nations shouldn’t follow its traditions as we also have our own holidays around this time: All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day. But what exactly are these holidays, and when do we celebrate them? Is it possible to go to a Halloween party and still commemorate our loved ones?
Halloween – 31st of October
Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve is on October 31st, the evening before Western Christians celebrate All Saints’ Day. With this day, a three-day-long observance of Allhallowtide starts, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints, martyrs, and our loved ones who have died. It is said that Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals with potentially pagan roots, such as the Gaelic Samhain. Celts divided the year into two seasons: winter began on the night of October 31st. They believed that the sun god Samhain would be captured by the god of death and darkness, who would summon the spirits of the dead on the night of October 31st. Interestingly, after the spread of Christianity, the festival was not banned but Christianized as Halloween by the early Church. The modern Halloween is mainly popular in Anglo-Saxon countries, but it is becoming more and more common in other parts of the world as well. Traditions include trick-or-treating for which children dress in costumes and collect candy and chocolates in their neighborhoods, costume parties, and carving pumpkins into Jack-O’Lanterns.
All Saints’ Day – November 1st
Also known as All Hallows’ Day, this holiday is held on the day after Halloween, as early Christians tried to adapt their holidays and practices to the existing pagan ones. Thus, All Saints’ Day was connected to the day of the former Celtic dead cult. The new Christian holiday was officially recognized by the church in 835 and since then, it has been held on the 1st of November. Later, the following day, November 2nd, was also declared a holy day: the Day of the Dead, or All Souls’ Day. On All Saints’ Day, it is common for families to attend church, as well as visit cemeteries in order to lay flowers and candles on the graves of their deceased loved ones. This is why many cemeteries are operating with longer opening hours. It is a Solemnity in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church and a national holiday in many historically Christian countries.
All Souls’ Day – November 2nd
Also known as the commemoration of all the faithful departed, that is, of the souls of all Christians who died but have not yet received salvation, who are currently in purgatory. The theological basis for the feast is the doctrine that souls, on departing from the body, are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for past transgressions, are debarred from the Beatific Vision, and the faithful on earth can help them by prayers, alms, and especially by the sacrifice of the Mass.
Gradually, the Day of the Dead has evolved from a religious holiday into a general commemoration of departed loved ones. In many European countries people usually visit and maintain the graves of their deceased relatives on these days, lighting candles and placing flowers. As the chrysanthemum opens during this period, tombs are usually decorated with this flower or with decorated wreaths. The original purpose of these traditions was for the liberated souls to return to their own graves – as, in the past, even many Christians thought that the dead would emerge from the grave at this time.
To sum up, Halloween, All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day all fall on different – though consecutive – days, thus the confusion. However, they all belong to the same festive cycle, the Allhallowtide, with a pagan holiday as the basis, later Christianized and expanded. There is nothing that rules out celebrating all three: the more modern traditions of Halloween, while also commemorating our deceased loved ones and laying flowers and placing candles on their graves. Source
Read more The Pagan Roots of All Saints Day
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL, EUROPE ARISE, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, DEATH OF A CITY, WITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTER , THE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and II, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, IMMORTAL BELOVED, THE ALL LIES INVASION, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors, The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS , SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
MICHAEL WALSH NOVELS
The revenge of a predator is a city-vigilante epic better than Death Wish A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL , 55 lavishly illustrated first-hand stories by a Liverpool sailor THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL, Latest Killer-Thriller From Michael Walsh the City Vigilante Supremo The Stigma Enigma , A powerful thought-provoking paranormal romance The Soul Meets, How to form a naughty ménage a trois THE DOVETAILS and SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S.
Latest Michael Walsh bestsellers: Those who fall victim to the taxman, banks and moneylenders are victims of legalised mugging DEBTOR’S REVENGE, The Business Booster shows you how to double your profits not your workload THE BUSINESS BOOSTER
MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL, AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS, THE LAST GLADIATORS, A Leopard in Liverpool, RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL, EUROPE ARISE, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, THE ALL LIES INVASION, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II, and many other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
We are in debt to our donors who finance the distribution of spin-free real news and fearlessly expressed views.
KEEP REAL NEWS OPEN: Donate by using Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, registered mail or contact Michael Walsh: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 2) Follow our blog. 3) Share our stories and 4) buy our author-signed books. 5) Receive free newsletters by writing subscribe to firstname.lastname@example.org
BOOKS THAT CHALLENGE, INSPIRE, INFORM Michael Walsh, ‘Writer of the Year’ with a strong global following. Nearly 70 interesting Amazon book titles famed for changing and improving lives. CLICK TO VIEW
New stories every day!
Categories: Ethnic traditions