Wednesday, October 28, 2009


A Little History of Halloween...................

"Halloween" conjures up different reactions in people within America and around the world. America has made Halloween a fun, and commercial, holiday, unlike some other countries. There is an old Celtic (KELT-ik) belief that souls of those who have passed away revisit the earth on October 31. Some, like America, use the night to have some fun. Unfortunately, some folks use the night as a time to play tricks on others.

Mexico: El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) - The holiday begins the night of October 31, continuing on November 1 with All Saints Day and November 2 with All Soul's Day. These may be considered by many Mexicans as the most important celebrations of the year. Mexicans use these days as an opportunity to decorate the graves of family and friends who have passed away. November 1 focuses on children who have died, and November 2, on adults. People often set up altars with food to welcome the souls for a visit.

Italy: On November 1 in Sicily, children anticipate that they will awaken on November 2 to sweets and toys left by relatives.

Eastern Europe: Time is spent in prayer and with visiting cemeteries, and Catholics attend Mass. It is usually a quiet day for thinking, although you may find some musical tributes being presented.

France: Lately, France has jumped on board with the idea of Halloween being a time for fun. Chocolates and candies are made and shared, there is some dressing in costumes, and favorite places to visit are MacDonald's and Disneyland Paris!

England: Several traditions are similar to what Americans do, with some modifications. Children will use large beets (instead of pumpkins) and go to neighbors to ask for money.

Canada: Canadians follow similar traditions as Americans, with trick-or-treating and dressing up in costumes.

"Halloween" or similar festivals means different things to different people.

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