Despite its Christian and English name, the vast majority
sources present Halloween as a legacy of Samain's pagan festival, which was celebrated by the Celts in the early autumn and was a kind of New Year's party for them. It is a very popular holiday in Ireland, Scotland and Wales where there are many historical records of its existence. Jack-o'-lantern, the iconic halloween lantern, is itself from an Irish legend.
The Halloween party is introduced in the United States and Canada after the massive arrival of Irish and Scottish emigrants, notably following the Great Famine in Ireland (1845-1851). It gained popularity in the 1920s and it is on the new continent that appear lanterns Jack-o'-lanterns made from pumpkins, of local origin, replacing the turnips used in Europe.
Halloween is today celebrated primarily in Ireland, Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and, to a lesser extent, many other countries. The best-known modern tradition is for kids to dress up in frightening costumes like ghosts, witches, monsters or vampires and go door-to-door asking for treats with the formula: Trick or treat! which means "sweets or a spell! ".
The evening can also be marked by bonfires, fireworks, children's games, the reading of horror tales or Halloween poems, the distribution of horror films but also the holding of anticipated masses. of All Saints in its strictly religious component.
- Candy hunting
The main event of the party is the candy hunt, also known as Halloween, where disguised children go door-to-door asking for treats. The little English speakers shout "Trick or treat! "Which means" Stuffing or candy! ". In France and Belgium, the habit is to say a sentence similar to that of the English "Candy or a lot! ". While in Quebec, children shout "Candy please! ". In this sense, Halloween was first known as "Towers Night" in the first regions of the United States where it spread. The children's costumes, often frightening, serve to give the illusion that the evil spirits of old come back to haunt the streets of the cities where door-to-door is practiced.
The door-to-door tradition of asking for food already existed in the United Kingdom and Ireland: the children and the poor sang and recited prayers against soul cakes. The Halloween tradition was born in the 19th century in Scotland and Ireland. In the United States and the Commonwealth countries, trick-or-treating has been a tradition since the 1930s.
Homeowners wishing to participate in this tradition usually decorate their door with spider webs, plastic skeletons or Jack-o'-lanterns. The inhabitants are often disguised themselves, give treats, bars of chocolate, and sometimes even soft drinks. Some people use sound effects and smoke to add ambiance.
At one time, in the United States, there were many rumors of children finding pins and razor blades in apples and candies collected on Halloween night. Although there is evidence of these incidents, these malicious acts are extremely rare and have never resulted in serious injuries. Nevertheless, certain security measures have been put in place to reassure the population.
- The food
A tradition that has survived until modern times in Ireland is cooking (or buying) a barmbrack (báirín breac in Irish), a light fruit cake. A ring is placed in the cake before cooking. It is said that whoever finds the ring will find true love during the year. The pumpkin does not only have a decorative aspect. Roasted seeds can be eaten and the flesh can be used to make pie, soup, jam or bread. Other foods are associated with the party, such as Colcannon (in Ireland), Bonfire toffee (in the United Kingdom), Toffee Apple (in Australia, Great Britain instead of apples of love), hot cider, roasted corn, donuts, and popcorn.
In France, there was, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a cake marketed during the Halloween party: Le Samain. It was then patented by the company Optos-Opus, which had already filed the Halloween mark, and sold as the official Halloween cake. The Samain, whose name refers to the Samantha of Celtic mythology
Source : Wikipedia