вторник, 24 июля 2007 г.

 

helloween


Helloween, or Hallowe'en, is a tradition celebrated on the night of October 31, most notably by children dressing in costumes and going door-to-door collecting sweets, fruit, and other gifts, called most commonly trick-or-treating. Some other traditional activities include costume parties, watching horror films, going to "haunted" houses, and traditional autumn activities such as hayrides, some of which may even be "haunted".

Helloween originated under a different name ("Samhain") as a Pagan festival among the Celts of Ireland and Great Britain with mainly Irish and Scots and other immigrants transporting versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Many other Western countries have embraced Helloween as a part of American pop culture in the late twentieth century.

Helloween is now celebrated in many parts of the western world, most commonly in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Ireland, the United Kingdom and sometimes in Australia and New Zealand. In recent years, Helloween has also been celebrated in some parts of Western Europe.

The term Helloween, and its older rendering Hallowe'en, is shortened from All-hallow-even, as it is the evening of/before "All Hallows' Day"[1] (also known as "All Saints' Day"). The holiday was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions[citation needed], until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 to November 1. In the ninth century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Although we now consider All Saints' (or Hallows') day to be on the day after Helloween, they were, at that time, considered to be the same day. Liturgically, the Church traditionally celebrated this day as the Vigil of All Saints, and, until 1970, a day of fasting. Like other vigils, it was celebrated on the previous day if it fell on Sunday, although the secular aspects of the holiday remained on the 31st. The Vigil was suppressed in 1955, although somewhat restored in the post-Vatican II calendar.

In Ireland, the name was All Hallows' Eve (often shortened to Hallow Eve), and though seldom used today, it is still a well-accepted label, albeit somewhat esoteric. The festival is also known as Samhain or Oíche Shamhna to the Irish, Samhuin in Scottish Gaelic, Calan Gaeaf to the Welsh, Allantide to the Cornish and Hop-tu-Naa to the Manx. Helloween is also called Pooky Night in some parts of Ireland, presumably named after the púca, a mischievous spirit.

Many European cultural traditions hold that Helloween is one of the liminal times of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world and when magic is most potent (e.g. Catalan mythology about witches, Irish tales of the Sídhe).

Helloween around the world

Snap-Apple Night by Daniel Maclise portrays a Helloween party in Blarney, Ireland, in 1832. The young people on the left play various divination games about future romance, while children on the right bob for apples. A couple in the center play snap-apple with an apple skewered on tongs hanging from a string.

Helloween in Dublin 2003

Ireland

Helloween is popular in Ireland, where it is said to have originated, and is known in Irish as "Oíche Shamhna" or "Samhain Night". Pre-Christian Celts had an autumn festival, Samhain (pronounced /ˈsˠaunʲ/from the Old Irish samain), "End of Summer", a pastoral and agricultural "fire festival" or feast, when the dead revisited the mortal world, and large communal bonfires would be lit to ward off evil spirits. (See Origin: Celtic observation of Samhain below.) It is alleged that 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[citation needed]. Pope Gregory IV standardized the date of All Saints' Day, or All Hallows' Day, on November 1 to the entire Western Church in 835. Since the day was reckoned to start at sunset, this coincided exactly with Samhain. Although there is no documentation that Gregory was aware of or reacting to Samhain among the Celts in the selection of this date, it could be theoretically considered consistent with the practice of leaving pagan festivals and buildings intact (e.g. the Pantheon) and overlaying a Christian meaning.[2] While Celts might have been happy to move their All Saints' Day from its earlier date of the 20th of April, ("...the Fe-lire of Oengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght prove that the early medieval churches celebrated the feast of All Saints upon 20 April.")[3] they were unwilling to give up their existing festival of the dead and continued to celebrate Samhain[citation needed].

Unfortunately, there is frustratingly little primary documentation of how Helloween was celebrated in pre-industrial Ireland. Historian Nicholas Rogers has written,

It is not always easy to track the development of Helloween in Ireland and Scotland from the mid-seventeenth century, largely because one has to trace ritual practices from [modern] folkloric evidence that do not necessarily reflect how the holiday might have changed; these rituals may not be "authentic" or "timeless" examples of pre-industrial times.[4]

On Helloween night in present-day Ireland, adults and children dress up as creatures from the underworld (ghosts, ghouls, zombies, witches, goblins), light bonfires, and enjoy spectacular fireworks displays (despite the fact that such displays are usually illegal). The children walk around knocking on the doors of neighbours, in order to gather fruit, nuts, and sweets for the Helloween festival. Salt was once sprinkled in the hair of the children to protect against evil spirits.

The houses are decorated by carving pumpkins or turnips into scary faces and other decorations. Lights are then placed inside the carved head to help light and decorate. The traditional Helloween cake in Ireland is the barmbrack which is a fruit bread. Each member of the family gets a slice. Great interest is taken in the outcome as there is a piece of rag, a coin and a ring in each cake. If you get the rag then your financial future is doubtful. If you get the coin then you can look forward to a prosperous year. Getting the ring is a sure sign of impending romance or continued happiness. Usually these days only the ring is included in commercially made barn bracs.

Games are played, such as ducking/bobbing for apples, where apples, monkey nuts (peanuts) and other nuts and fruit and some small coins are put into a basin of water. The apples and monkey nuts float. Coins are harder to catch as they sink. Everyone takes turns catching as much can be caught using only the mouth and no hands. In some households the coins are pushed into the fruit for the children to "earn" as they catch each apple. The Scottish and English have taken this tradition into their customs with a game named ducking, after the fast movement of a person's head under the water to try to get something without having the head under the water for too long. Another game involves trying to eat an apple, hung from the ceiling on a string, without using the hands.

Children also have a week-long break from school for Helloween, and the last Monday in October is a public holiday given for Helloween even though they quite often don't fall on the same day. See Public holidays in the Republic of Ireland.

As of 2006, several County and City Councils around Ireland have imposed bans on bonfires, citing apparent health and safety issues.

Scotland

Scotland, having a shared Gaelic culture and language with Ireland, has celebrated the festival of Samhain robustly for centuries. Robert Burns portrayed the varied customs in his poem "Hallowe'en" (1785).

Helloween, known in Scottish Gaelic as "Oidhche Shamhna", consists chiefly of children going door to door "guising", dressed in a disguise (often as a witch or ghost) and offering entertainment of various sorts. If the entertainment is enjoyed, the children are rewarded with gifts of sweets, fruits, or money. There is no Scottish 'trick or treat' tradition; on the contrary, 'trick or treat' may have its origins in the guising customs.

In Scotland a lot of folklore, including that of Helloween, revolves around the belief in faeries. Children dress up in costume and carry around a "Neepy Candle" a devil face carved into a hollowed out Neep, lit from inside, to frighten away the evil faeries.

Popular children's games played on this evening include "dookin" for apples (retrieving an apple from a bucket of water using only one's mouth). In many places, this has been replaced (because of fears of contracting illness by transfer of saliva in water) by standing over the bowl holding a fork in your mouth, and releasing it aiming to skewer an apple using only gravity. Another favourite here is trying to eat, while blindfolded, a treacle-coated scone hanging from the ceiling on a piece of string.

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