We all know Halloween in its playful version, but few know the Celtic origins of this ancient festival. Did you know that before the pumpkins the turnips were carved? Here are all the secrets of the most mysterious night of the year.
All Hallow Eve is the eve before all the saints, the evening preceding the day of November 1st.
As we said, Halloween has Celtic origins. For this people the date of October 31 marked a border between the end of summer and prosperity and the beginning of the harshest and coldest season, the winter. On this night, the souls of the dead returned to earth in the form of witches and ghosts, in this regard, already in the Middle Ages were worn masks to ward off death and make propitiatory rites.
This ancient tradition was then taken up by America and transformed into a playful and commercial festival especially linked to children and exported all over the world as we know it today.
TRICK OR TREAT
Even the tradition of trick or treat has its roots in the Middle Ages, in which it was customary to beg from door to door between the day of the Saints and that of the dead. Today children love to dress up and go door to door asking for sweets, threatening to make a joke if their request will not be met.
It is to him that we owe the tradition of pumpkin carving, the food season par excellence of this period.
Legend has it that Jack, a cunning and drunk Irish blacksmith, met the devil at the bar. The devil wanted his soul, but Jack persuaded him to turn into a coin in exchange for a last drink. After ten years the devil reappeared and the two made a pact: freedom for the devil and no eternal damnation for Jack. On death the man was not accepted either in heaven or in hell. The devil threw a burning ember that ended in a turnip like a lantern. Since then jack runs without peace to find a shelter. Before the pumpkin it was used to carve the turnips like lanterns.
It is here, in the north of Dublin, the place where the Celtic New Year was celebrated for the first time and where the ancient rite with a torchlight procession is still held today.
Yes, even Halloween has its green face thanks to some initiatives and associations created to promote sustainable economy, ethical fashion and a green lifestyle even on this day of celebration. Like Green Halloween, a non-profit association that offers healthy and eco-friendly holidays starting right from the 31st October party. WWF also plays its part, offering the public numerous tips, such as transforming the old female socks, especially when they are stretched, into very original spider webs. The spirit of recycling finds an open and infinite field on the front of Halloween costumes, you just need to light up the imagination to give life to an original and sustainable costume!