A Celtic festival influenced by Christianity
The origins of Halloween go back to the Celtic festival Samhain, which was held 2,000 years ago in the region occupied today by Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, according to the History website.
The Celts celebrated the New Year on the first dayany November – The day that marks the end of summer and harvest, as well as the beginning of winter, and is the time of year associated with the death of humans. The Celts believed that on the previous day, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead became clearer, and so they celebrated Samhain, where ghosts and the dead returned to Earth.
At the same time, Pope Gregory III chose 1any November is the Feast of All Saints and All Martyrs. From 9H In the 19th century, the influence of Christianity spread into the Celtic lands and began to replace Celtic rituals.
Thus Spirit Day was celebrated in a manner similar to Samhain – great bonfires, parades and masquerades – under the name All-Hallows. So the night of the 31st became Halloween night, and then Halloween.
The sociology professor at Halloween College explained that Halloween, from a sociological point of view, predates Christianity, which came “to take charge of this phenomenon and profoundly transform it by giving it a more abstract and less concrete aspect.” University of Ottawa, Diane Baucom.
“It ends up being a bit of a weird party, but it’s actually a kind of political economy of reality: people are always giving themselves guidelines because they’re so afraid and it’s a way of ‘exorcism’.” [la peur]. “We will face our fears, but in a more fun way,” the sociologist explained.
According to her, religion, in the sense of rituals and customs, would provide more spiritual and psychological explanations for the idea of death.
“Halloween emerged at the intersection of religion and society, because people are afraid of death and all that it represents. […] It was a way to manage the constant fear that humans feel of all sorts of things, especially of their own death, but also of all the harmful aspects of existence.
Between commercial celebration and tradition
Today, if Western practices trace their origins to ancient traditions, Halloween remains the second commercial holiday after Christmas.
“The desire of modern societies is to eliminate as much as possible anything transcendent or religious, so we have transformed the meaning of this celebration by adding a more serious aspect to the ceremonial and folkloric aspect,” M. raised.I bacom.
This festive aspect also turns out to be profitable. In 2022, HelloSafe estimates that Canadians will spend nearly $500 million on candy alone in October, an amount that adds decorations and costumes.
Access to North America
It is from the second half of 19H In the 20th century, with waves of immigration, the Halloween festival became really popular, according to history.
Like the Europeans, Americans began to disguise themselves and go from house to house asking for money or food.
Originally, the site explains, people disguised themselves to avoid being recognized by ghosts returning to Earth, and tried to prevent them from returning to their homes by leaving bowls of food, to appease them.
Nowadays, it’s easy to associate Halloween with fear.
“There is a desire in cartooning, to make death more accessible, in the sense that we can laugh at it, we can talk about it, we can make fun of it by hiding ourselves,” M. analyzed.I bacom.
For example, many people have developed a fear of clowns, a common Halloween costume.
According to the sociologist, clowns are annoying because they sow confusion in people’s minds.
“Little clown [un moyen] She continued: “Mocking ourselves allows us to laugh at distress, and distance ourselves from the tragedy of death, which is a very destabilizing figure.”