Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The Scary Truth About Halloween
Most people celebrate Halloween to dress up in costumes, eat candy or pumpkin pie, and have a good time. But many seem to have no idea about the origin of this popular holiday celebrated around the world. According to a recent article in Awake! magazine, Halloween customs and symbols have some very scary origins:
VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES, WITCHES, ZOMBIES: These creatures have long been associated with the evil spirit world.
CANDY: The ancient Celts tried to appease wicked spirits with sweets. The church later encouraged celebrants to go from house to house on All Hallows’ Eve, asking for food in return for a prayer for the dead. This custom eventually became Halloween’s trick or treat.
COSTUMES: The Celts wore frightening masks so that evil spirits would mistakenly think the wearers were spirits and would leave them alone. The church gradually amalgamated pagan customs with the feasts of All Souls and All Saints. Later, celebrants went from house to house wearing costumes of saints, angels, and devils.
PUMPKINS: Carved, candlelit turnips were displayed to repel evil spirits. To some, the candle in the turnip represented a soul trapped in purgatory. Later, carved pumpkins were more commonly used.
"[People] don't realize it, but they’re celebrating our holiday with us... We like it." -- What one professed witch said during an interview with USA Today
Despite such dark and pagan origins, millions around the world continue to celebrate Halloween each year. In some parts of the world, like Africa, they day is called "Dance of the Hooded Egunguns". In other parts of Europe and Asia, it's called "Day of the Dead".
With all that said, is Halloween as innocent as we think?
For more details, visit www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201309/truth-about-halloween/
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