Halloween, do you really know what it is?


Halloween and related celebrations are observed in many countries. Typical activities occur on this day including “trick or treating,” craving pumpkins into “jack  o’ lantern,” and bonfires. However, while people are busy partying and scaring people away in this festival, most aren’t aware of the meaning and the origin of this fest. Halloween today is celebrated for the sole purpose of celebrating it. The superficial manner which the festival is represented sometimes gives the naughty ones a chance to conduct unacceptable hooliganism and vandalism. With better understanding of the stories behind Halloween, people can enjoy it better with a sense of knowledge and connection. 

The origin of Halloween is a controversial matter, although most scholars would say that the event carries a large Christian influence. One prominent explanation is that  a band of ancient Celtic priests made October 31st a day to honor the lord of death, Samhain. These priest believed Samhain released the ghosts and spirits that were embodied in animals during the rest of the year. The priests believed the ghosts and spirits were coming out to hurt the people. Consequently, believers of this preaching started to react on this occasion. Irish farmers, on this day went around the farms to beg for food; in return they would pray for the giver’s safety on this day of wickedness. However, when they were denied, they simply promised “we will trick you.” This theoretically evolved to today’s “trick of treating.” The Jack o’ Lantern was also a product of this time; people hollowed out the pumpkin and put a candle inside to imitate the appearance of a damned soul, Jack, who couldn’t go to heaven and wandered on earth to scare evil spirits away.

Today, not everyone in society lives the day of Halloween respectably. Halloween becomes a day of craziness. According to insurance company statistics, a car is almost three times more likely to be vandalized on Halloween than on any other day of the year. School administrations express concerns regarding the appropriateness of costumes. These problems arise from the ignorance of the people about the true meaning and merits behind the event. People don’t know the point of Halloween, so they act in the way that they normally wouldn’t; Halloween becomes an excuse for unjustified behaviors. In order for Halloween, or any other celebrations with cultural significance, to maintain their place in today’s world, the public must be well informed of the true interpretations.