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The Tricked Halloween that Lost Hallows

October 26, 2011  by: Paulose  Points: 15   Category: Others    Views: 456

Halloween had lost its "Hallows". Halloween today it is purely commercial, mainly meant to bulge the pockets of business people. Of course, there are entertaining elements in Halloween which every festival has. But the name and history of this festival can show some forgotten facts.


The western world is busy with announcing the arrival of Halloween. Children are eagerly waiting for 31 October to have fun with "trick or treat". Many have already begun to attend parties with their Halloween costumes. Pumpkins are adorning the frontage of every house with other scary decorations. Some houses in the US have coffins and skeletons displayed as Halloween decoration. Most of the Halloween costumes are also black with scary illustrations on them. What does the festival Halloween signify with all its fun and fantasies?

Origin of Halloween

The name "Halloween" is said to have come from the name "Hallows Even" which denoted the festival of All Saints Day. The word Hallow referred to saints.All Saints Day is a feast that commemorates all saints, including the unknown saints who have not been included in the liturgical calendar. From the year 834 A.D. the Roman Catholic Church is celebrating All Saints Day on 1 November. Formerly it was being celebrated on May 13 which tradition is still followed by the Easter Churches. The previous day was observed as "All Hallows Even". This name was modified in course as Hallow Even, and later as Halloween. In short, Halloween Day is the festival of All Saints Day.

Catholic Church which believes in the communion of saints observed 2 November as All Souls Day. It believes that all faithful are supposed to enjoy life after death with God. Hence All Saints Day and All Souls Day commemorated all those who are dead, whether saint or not. Since the Church believes in the immortality of the soul, they follow the tradition of praying for the dead even from the beginning of the Church. In this way, both of these feats were clubbed and the prayerful observances began the previous evening of the All Saints Day with the ringing of church bells.

Tradition of trick or treat

All Souls Day had the custom of praying for the dead. On this day special prayers were held in the church, graveyard and houses. Alms were given to the poor as a tradition called "soul cake". Poor people went from house to house praying for the souls of the dead. They were given food and alms. This tradition has taken shape as the modern "trick or treat" of Halloween.

Halloween as an Autumn thought

The season of Autumn brings thoughts of death through nights getting longer, leaves change and fall and nature getting ready for a temporary burial in winter. This thought of death in Fall, highlighting the cycle of life, can be observed in many cultures.

Halloween sans "Hallow-eve"

The purpose of this essay is to point out how Halloween has lost all its salients features of prayers and healthy thoughts of the dead. It has now been commercialized and has become an occasion of fun and gambling. It has lost all its meaning, especially in the US, promoting sale of candy and costumes ensuring a bountiful harvest for the commercial pockets. Halloween has been tricked to be treated as a cheat game of the commercial world.



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