Halloween: what is this holiday and how to celebrate it?
From Samhayna to Christianity
The history of Halloween begins with Celtic traditions. The Celts are numerous barbarian tribes that lived in the vast territory of Europe, including the British Isles. The mysterious religion of these peoples has not yet been fully explored: there is little information left, and beliefs have dissolved into centuries. Halloween is one of the few traditions borrowed by the English from the local population.
The ancient Celts animated the forces of nature, organized shrines in oak groves, revered the Druids.The main holiday was considered Samhayn. On this day, the harvest was finished and the Celtic New Year was celebrated. People believed that on the festive night of October 31 to November 1, a passage to the other world would open. The resulting portal connects the past and the future. A living person could get into the world of the dead, and the dead penetrated into the reality of living people.
On the evening of October 31, the Celts turned off the lights in the houses. At this time, the priests performed a magical ritual in the sacred groves. They kindled gigantic bonfires and plagued evil spirits with offerings. In the morning, the Celts rekindled the fires in their houses, using the embers of the sacred bonfires.
To scare away evil spirits on a magical night, the Celts created awesome costumes. When they were dressed in evil spirits, they went to their homes and collected sacrificial refreshments for evil spirits. People dressed in animal skins, used fangs, branches and other available materials to create a frightening image.
Catholic traditions and Halloween
Roman seizure on the culture of the Celts almost did not affect, affected the common pagan traditions. The rejection of ancient beliefs occurred after the adoption of Christianity. It happened in the IX century.At that time, an important religious holiday existed in Catholic culture: All Saints Day.
The emergence of Halloween led the merger of Catholic, Romanesque and Celtic culture. The ancient Romans had a holiday of Feralia. On this day, the Latins, who worshiped their ancestors, recalled the departed and offered sacrifices at the graves. After the introduction of Christianity, Feralia turned into All Saints Day. And it is intended to commemorate the Christian righteous, who do not have their own day to be commemorated in the church calendar.
In the IX century, Christianity was established in Britain. And the Day of All Saints is mixed with the Celtic Samhain. The otherworldly forces were perceived by Christians more hostile than the indigenous people of the islands. This day was loved by witches and sorcerers who organized sabbaths. About the night of October 31 to November 1, fairy tales and horror stories were written to intimidate the believing people.
The established name “Halloween” is the abbreviated “All Hallows Even” - All Saints Day.
Halloween in the USA
A new place for the development of old traditions is the North American continent. Here, fluent English immigrants brought their native traditions.In the States, and formed the rite of celebration of Halloween in the form to which we are accustomed today.
In the USA, traditional going home in terrible costumes was fixed. The children knocked on the door and demanded food. If the owner of the house did not give the children sweets, then he rubbed the doorknob for soot for a long time.
Today, Halloween is not recognized as an official holiday, but it is celebrated on a special scale. American students arrange real festivities, compete in the originality and frightening strength of their costumes, tell horror stories and have fun.
Thanks to its brightness, Halloween has taken root in other countries. True, it is noted not with such scope. In Russia, students and schoolchildren are actively involved in American traditions, dress up in costumes, create pumpkin lanterns, and organize theme parties. New cafes and bars preparing atmospheric Halloween events picked up the new trend.
All Saints' Day no longer has the religious significance that the Celts attached to it, it is far from the Christian remembrance of the righteous. Halloween is fun, modern, fashionable. So why not join the general mood?
The tradition of using a pumpkin as a lantern appeared in America in the middle of the 18th century. Until this time in England, turnips, squash, or rutabagus were used to scare away the spirits. The Americans chose a cheaper and more affordable vegetable, linking the decision with a legend about a cunning Irishman.
Drunk Jack was a mean merchant. And now Satan himself became interested in his soul. Descending into the world of people, he found Jack in a tavern. The merchant did not lose his head and offered the Devil a drink. In order to pay for a drink, the man asked the Evil One to serve him for last and turn into a coin. When the Lord of the Underworld fulfilled the request, the cunning Jack put the money in the pocket where the silver cross lay. The devil lost his strength and could not regain his former appearance, until he promised the merchant a year of quiet life.
A year later, when the crafty returned for a desired soul, Jack came up with a new trick. He asked the Devil to get fruit from the tree to enjoy life for last. While Satan climbed to the top of the fruit giant, Jack scribbled a cross on the trunk. To get down from the tree, the evil one had to promise Jack 10 more years of quiet life.
But until the end of the promised period, the merchant did not live.When he died, both God and the Devil abandoned the soul of the cunning drunkard. Punished for his tricks, Jack still wanders around the world, lighting a road with a pumpkin lantern in which Satan's coal is smoldering.
This is just a fairy tale, but if you remember the real horrors and look even further, then the history of the appearance of similar lamps goes to the Celts' traditions. The ancient druids sacrificed people, and their heads hung out to scare off evil spirits. Over time, human sacrifices were banned, but real heads were replaced with vegetable ones.
Police of the States every year warns parents about the dangers that await children during the festivities. Halloween is a good time for maniacs. In costumes, you do not know who the friend is or who the enemy is. Loud murders and rapes happen almost every year.
Periodically, attackers add poison to children's sweets. Sometimes in sweets and bars are found blades, nails, needles and other metal additives. In 1982, the poisoning became widespread. After that, the sweets received by children became more attentive.
At the beginning of the 20th century in America, Halloween became a hooligan tradition. Every year on the streets of major cities there were massive cases of vandalism. The attackers staged arson, smashed shop windows, climbed into houses. The result was state actions in support of peaceful festivities with the distribution of sweets and other treats.
Preparation for Halloween begins with a dress. Gift shops and funny holiday souvenirs buy ready-made options for masquerade. There will be whole sets, as well as individual details in the form of a witch's hat, an intimidating mask, a broom, a tail, or fox ears.
Traditional characters for the party:
Details for such costumes can be found in any holiday shop, but if you wish, you can sew a dress yourself. In the course are sheets, old fabrics, unnecessary clothes, feathers.
What about Slavic subjects?
Each country contributed to the celebration of Halloween its edits. And why is Russia worse? Slavic folk myths are an unusual idea for inspiration.
- GoblinThe costume of the goblin is a fancy combination of sticks and twigs.Make yourself horns from knots, a wreath of flexible twigs. Using face painting, paint the face in dark green color, draw frightening eyes and thick eyebrows.
- Water mermaid and mermaid.The costumes of residents of lakes and swamps are best done in blue-green tones. For a spectacular look, use artificial imitations of bindweed and other plants. Weave wreaths, draw small scales on the skin, weave floral ornaments in your hair, and the outfit is ready.
- Koschey.His image is similar to the usual for the Western man view of death, only the male. A lean ruler of a dark kingdom in dark robes, with white hair and a crown on his head will look unusual among fairies and pirates.
Do not inspire Russian mythology? Take advantage of Scandinavian, Indian, Japanese myths. Who knows, maybe you will go mask Chinese dragon?
Idea for a wig
A quality wig costs money, and spending it for one evening is not the most rational decision. Disposable models are similar to washcloths and do not cause much excitement. There is an exit. Create a satin ribbon wig! Long hair witch or mermaid you provided.One caveat - the top of the wig will have to hide under a hat or other design.
The amount of satin ribbon depends on the length of the wig. The longer the hair, the thicker the ribbon of the ribbon. Cut the purchased material into strips equal to the length of the wig. The more stripes, the more magnificent the head of hair will turn out. Fasten the ends together and unfold the ribbons. Leave a small unbroken piece at the base of the sling. When there is no single tape in the bundle, tie the base tightly with threads again so that the wig does not fall apart. If desired, you can fuse the remaining ends with a lighter. Wig ready. It remains to attach it to the hat and spread the hair around the head.
Papier Mache Scary Masks
To make such an intimidation attribute, you will need:
- PVA glue,
- material for the form (plasticine, inflatable ball, foil),
- Water-based paint or acrylic primer,
- brushes, sponge.
First create a shape for the future mask. Three options:
- Sculpt from clay. For this purpose, purchase a special sculpture clay in the store for creativity. It is sold in sand, gray and black.After creating the shape, the plasticine mask must be wrapped with a transparent film.
- Inflatable ball. If you choose this option, inflate the ball to the size of your head, and form a mask on it.
- Foil. Fold the 3 sheets of foil together, attach it to the face and wrinkle it so that the material takes the necessary bends.
Plastered form newsprint. Do not cut the stripes with scissors! Paper needs to be torn by hands for obtaining high-quality result. The first layer is formed using wet paper. On it is superimposed a second layer of pieces soaked in glue. All subsequent layering will be glue.
After the first 4 layers of the mask, leave to dry for 24 hours. At this stage the parts requiring additional volume are molded from plasticine. It is important to remember the number of overhead parts. Plasticine parts are heavy. If you overdo it with their number, the mask will be too heavy or fall apart altogether.
The paper layers are glued until the mask is thick enough. The last layer is better to make from thick paper or cotton fabric. Depending on the idea, you can form wrinkles and dents.Then cut the eyes and holes for the nose and mouth. After that, the product dries for 1-2 days.
The edges of the dried form are adjusted with sandpaper or sawn off. The mask is grounded with water-based paint or acrylic. Finished acrylic primer is sold in stores for creativity.
For the mask is better to use acrylic paints. After drying, they are not washed out with water. To create unexpected effects and shadow transitions use a sponge. In order to evenly cover the mask with a tone, paint in cans will do.
We make a sinister lamp of pumpkin
To make the main symbol of Halloween you will need:
- big knife
- a small knife with a sharp tip or awl,
Take a pumpkin and turn it tail up. Cut out the thick part of the top in the manner of the cap and separate it from the pumpkin. Seeds and a portion of the pulp are taken by hand or with a large spoon.
To draw a pattern, the template is prepared in advance. You can find it on the Internet and print or draw it yourself. To make a traditional jack-o-lantern, draw an ominous, grinning smile, eyes, and a triangular nose.
To translate the image on the pumpkin do not use the marker. Traces of it will remain on the lantern and spoil the overall impression.
Attach a piece of paper with a drawn template to the pumpkin, take a knife with a pointed tip or an awl and leave a series of punctures along the outline of the picture. After that, remove the leaf and cut the mouth, eyes and nose of the future lantern, pushing unnecessary pieces inside. The lamp is ready! It remains only to put a candle inside.
If you have already trained your hand on ordinary Jack-lanterns, pick a picture more complicated. A bat or witch image will do. The main thing - a readable silhouette and simplicity of the contour.
Halloween is a fun holiday. Spend it in the company of friends, arrange a competition for the most original outfit! Want more fun? Take to the streets and take pictures with passersby! Changing the photos to treats, you get a sea of positive and a bunch of new acquaintances.