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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: HALLOWEEN AROUND THE WORLD, PART I!!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

HALLOWEEN AROUND THE WORLD, PART I!!




Austria

    In Austria, some people leave bread, water, and a lighted lamp on the table when they go to bed. The reason why it is done is that it was believed by doing so it would welcome the dead souls back to earth for this particular night was a night of strong cosmic energies. In Austria Catholics celebrate the entire period between October 30 and November 8 as Seleenwoche or Alls Souls' Week.
    On All Saints' Day Catholics attend church services in honor of the saints, the martyrs and those who have died for the Catholic faith. People may also visit their family’s graves to beautify them with wreaths and small lanterns. Sometimes a mass is said at the gravesite and the grave sprinkled with holy water.
   On November 2 or All Souls' Day, Catholics attend a special Requiem masses, where they remember those who may be close to them that have died. Prayers for the dead are said and votive candles are lit to honor their memory.










Belgium

    In Belgium people believed that it was bad luck for a black cat to cross your path. It was believed that it was unlucky for a black cat also to come into their homes or travel on their ships.
   In Belgium people light candles in memory of their dead relatives.










England

   In Great Britain everyone wants to welcome the friendly spirits so special soul-cakes for them. When children in costumes called upon their neighbors' homes on Halloween they would be given soul-cakes too!
   In some parts of Britain Halloween in the past was known as Mischief Night. It was a night for mischief making. People would take the doors off their hinges on this night. The doors were also often thrown into ponds, or taken a long way away.
   In England it is said that elves road on the backs of the villagers' cats. The cats had fun but the villagers did not and would lock their cats up so that the elves could not catch them.
   Children were told not to sit in the circles of yellow and white flowers were fairies have danced as they may be stolen by the fairies. It was also bad to sit under the hawthorn tree because the fairies loved to dance on them and if they saw them their tempers would be prickled.









   In England the black cat was considered to be good luck were as a white cat was considered to be bad luck.
   In England children make "punkies " out of large beets. They cut out a design of their choice into the beet. Then they carry them through the streets and sing the Punkie Night Song. They knock on doors and ask for money.
   In some parts of England turnip Lanterns are place on gateposts to protect homes from the spirits.
   In England Halloween was nicknamed, Nutcracker Night or Snap Apple Night. Families would sit before a great fire in the hearth, roasting nuts and eating apples. They told stories and played holiday games. It was an evening of great fun and merriment.
   In England they continued to practice their deep-rooted, ancient pagan rites well after the arrival of Christianity in the middle of the sixth century. The Church fathers had become concerned that the popularity of non-Christian festivals was growing at the expense of Christian holy days.
   Pope Gregory I,  in 601 issued a decree to his missionaries about the faith and customs of the people whom he wanted to convert to Christianity. Gregory knew that it would be impossible to eradicate the beliefs of the natives totally and so suggested to his priests that they "convert" them whenever possible.










   If the native people worshipped at a well, or sacred grove, Gregory informed his missionaries to enshrine them to Christ and let the worship continue.
   Gregory's successor Pope Boniface IV in 609,  declared May 13 All Saints' Day. Unfortunately, while pagans were happy to add All Saints' Day to their calendar, they were unwilling to give up their existing festival of the dead and continued to celebrate Samhain.
   Intent on eliminating the ongoing power of the pagan beliefs, Pope Gregory III followed in the footsteps of the earlier Christian leaders and intentionally united the Christian All Saints' Day to the festival of Samhain. He then moved All Saints' Day to November 1, which became more commonly known as All Hallows. Because Samhain had traditionally fallen the night before All Hallows, it eventually became known as All Hallows' Even' or Hallowe'en.
   Previous church leaders to Gregory III discouraged the Samhain tradition of wearing frightening costumes, but Gregory decided instead to allow people to dress up in honor of the saints. Other traditions, such as begging for food and kindling, were made legal by the Church, providing that any food that was given to the beggars would be given to the poor, rather than to appease the spirits.









   The Church also added a second day to the festival, this fell on November 2 and was called All Souls' Day and was dedicated to the souls of those who are still left in purgatory. These souls had to endure the punishment of purgatory for their sins. It was believed that the lighting of candles and the saying of prayers for the dead would shorten the time they were to suffer in purgatory before they would rise to heaven.
   The Tradition of begging for food soon was replaced with souling or Soul Caking. The idea was for children to go from door to door asking for money to give to the poor and a soul cake to have for themselves. Every cake they would receive, the children would say a prayer for the souls of the dead.
   Soul cakes were called many different names throughout England such as Saumas or soul mass cakes which were dark fruitcakes, another cake was covered in caraway seeds and made into a bun.
   In the North of England the tradition of lighting bonfires was central to the Halloween celebration. Superstition was still strong as a result of the aftermath of the witch-hunts; witches were believed to take to the air to harass everyone at Halloween.
   Halloween was called Tan Day for the township of Lancashire. Tan day was so named as it was the Celtic tein, or fire and pitchforks full of burning hay were flung into the air to scare the witches. Another reason was the heat and the smoke of the bonfires would also drive away any airborne witches.







Canada- 

   In Canada people welcome trick-or-treaters by placing pumpkins called jack-o'-lanterns in their windows.
   Also in Canada it is bad luck for a black cat to cross your path, enter your home, or even enter your ship.
   In Canada people give trick-or-treaters sweets to make sure they are not played a trick on.
   Children make Jack-o'-lanterns for Halloween.
   Dressing up as witches, ghosts and beasts for trick-or-treating is done also.










Ireland

    Thousands of years ago there was a tribe of farmers called the Celts. They knew that the sun helped make their crops grow, so when autumn came the sun began to fade and they believed that the sun would be winter's prisoner for six months.
   They were worried that the sun would not return so to make sure it did they held a festival on October 31. During which, they asked the sun to return safely in the summer. All the cooking fires were put out and a huge bonfire was lit on the hillside. Here they prayed the sun would shine brightly after winter was over.
   The next morning they would return to the hillside take a piece of the burning wood from the remains of the bonfire and light new fires so as to bring good luck. Feasts were held over the new fires and people would dress up in costumes made out of animal skins. It was believed these costumes would protect people from bad luck.










   This is how Halloween is said to have begun and is still celebrated today.
   Cats were considered by the Celts too be spirits and that cats could predict the future.
   In Ireland the black cat was considered to be bad luck and if it crosses your path while walking or crosses the threshold of your home or ship it was considered bad luck.
   In Ireland children would cut scary faces into hollowed-out turnips, large rutabagas, or potatoes. Then place and candle inside them.
   Children once enjoyed throwing cabbages and turnips at doors at Halloween time. Smashing bottles near windows was also done in fun.
   The Celts referred to Halloween as The Samhain Festival. It was during this time that you would lead your livestock home from summer pastures to the winter shelters. Samhain Eve was a time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead grew thinner, and ghosts ventured toward the warmth if people's homes and hearths. On the Eve the Celts built bonfires in memory of their departed ancestors and left food and drink on their tables overnight for eating by the ghosts.
   The tenth-century abbot of Cliny Odile changed Samhain's name to All Saints' Day. October 31 became All Hallows' Eve or Hallowes' Even, and eventually would become Halloween. Halloween is now for the children, whose practice of trick-or-treating has its roots in the English custom of "soul-caking". From medieval times onward poor people would beg door-to-door for spiced cakes that the householders would award as payment for prayers the beggars promised to say for the householders' ancestors. This song was referred to as the soul-cakers song










   In Ireland they continued to practice their deep-rooted, ancient pagan rites well after the arrival of Christianity in the middle of the sixth century. The Church fathers had become concerned that the popularity of non-Christian festivals was growing at the expense of Christian holy days.
   Pope Gregory I, in 601 issued a decree to his missionaries about the faith and customs of the people whom he wanted to convert to Christianity. Gregory knew that it would be impossible to eradicate the beliefs of the natives totally and so suggested to his priests that they "convert" them whenever possible.
   If the native people worshipped at a well, or sacred grove, Gregory informed his missionaries to enshrine them to Christ and let the worship continue.
   Gregory's successor Pope Boniface IV in 609, declared May 13 All Saints' Day. Unfortunately, while pagans were happy to add All Saints' Day to their calendar, they were unwilling to give up their existing festival of the dead and continued to celebrate Samhain.
   Intent on eliminating the ongoing power of the pagan beliefs, Pope Gregory III followed in the footsteps of the earlier Christian leaders and intentionally united the Christian All Saints' Day to the festival of Samhain. He then moved All Saints' Day to November 1, which became more commonly known as All Hallows. Because Samhain had traditionally fallen the night before All Hallows, it eventually became known as All Hallows' Even' or Hallowe'en.
   Previous church leaders to Gregory III discouraged the Samhain tradition of wearing frightening costumes, but Gregory decided instead to allow people to dress up in honor of the saints. Other traditions, such as begging for food and kindling, were made legal by the Church, providing that any food that was given to the beggars would be given to the poor, rather than to appease the spirits.





  




   The Church also added a second day to the festival, this fell on November 2 and was called All Souls' Day and was dedicated to the souls of those who are still left in purgatory. These souls had to endure the punishment of purgatory for their sins. It was believed that the lighting of candles and the saying of prayers for the dead would shorten the time they were to suffer in purgatory before they would rise to heaven.









China

    In China the Halloween festival is known as Teng Chieh in which food and water are placed in front of photographs of relatives of people. Bonfires and lanterns are lit to light the spirits path back to earth.
   Another Halloween festival is called The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts. In China the souls of the dead, particularly during the seventh lunar month, wander the earth in search of affection. They are known as the hungry ghosts because of their hunger for recognition and care.
   The number of souls is usually increased by those who died unnatural deaths, and who may not have been given a proper burial or burial place which their families could










visit in order to pay them respect. Other such Hungry ghosts that are abroad during this month are the spirits of people whose families had either died out or who showed no concern for their welfare in the beyond. Bereft of comfort, they feel abandoned and, lacking ancestral worship, may turn malignant and become powerful threats to the living.
   The purpose of the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, is dedicated to the earthbound spirits. Its purpose is to make them feel welcome and to satisfy their spiritual hunger. This will placate any possible anger they might have and gain their gratitude.
   In the sacred ritual of the day, the spirits are offered joss sticks, food and gifts. The gifts, made of paper, represent objects with which they were familiar while on earth and are intended to make them feel at home. Paper money is burnt on their behalf, to pay for their expenses in the netherworld. Fires are lit to light the way for the hungry ghosts and a gesture of welcome.









Czechoslovakia

    In Czechoslovakia chairs are placed by the fireside. There is a chair for each family member and one for each family member’s spirit.








Germany

   In Germany people put their knives away. This is done as they do not want to risk hurting the returning spirits.
   In the regions of Bavaria and Austria in Southern Germany, Catholics celebrate the entire period between October 30 and November 8 as Seleenwoche or Alls Souls' Week.
   On All Saints' Day Catholics attend church services in honor of the saints, the martyrs and those who have died for the Catholic faith. People may also visit their family’s graves to beautify them with wreaths and small lanterns. Sometimes a mass is said at the gravesite and the grave sprinkled with holy water.
   On November 2 or All Souls' Day, Catholics attend a special Requiem masses, where they remember those who may be close to them that have died. Prayers for the dead are said and votive candles are lit to honor their memory.








Hong Kong

   In Hong Kong there is a festival similar to Halloween. During the Hungry Ghosts Festival or Yue Lan, ghosts and spirits roam the world for 24 hours. Some people burn pictures of fruit or money. This was believed to reach the spirit world and comfort the ghosts on this day.









Italy

    In Italy they make cakes in the shape of beans. These cakes are called Beans of the Dead.
   In Southern Italy families prepare a special feast for the souls of the departed on All Souls' Day. The families would set the table with a bountiful meal. Then they would all go to church to pray for the souls of the deceased. They stayed there all day, leaving their home open so that the spirits could enter and enjoy the feast.
When the family came home to find that their offerings hadn't been consumed it meant that the spirits disapproved of their home and would work evil against them during the coming year.
   In Italy November 1 has become a public holiday.
   On All Saints' Day Catholics attend church services in honor of the saints, the martyrs and those who have died for the Catholic faith. People may also visit their family’s graves to beautify them with wreaths and small lanterns. Sometimes a mass is said at the gravesite and the grave sprinkled with holy water.
   On November 2 or All Souls' Day, Catholics attend a special Requiem masses, where they remember those who may be close to them that have died. Prayers for the dead are said and votive candles are lit to honor their memory.

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