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What is Halloween and as it is celebrated?

Halloween are considered the most mass holiday in the USA, apart from Christmas. What represents this holiday and from where it originates? I suggest to glance on the several millennia ago...

During an era of a dokhristianstvo, the territory of modern England and Ireland, and also the North of France were inhabited by Celts. The Celtic year consisted of 2 parts - winter and summer. As the Supreme god Celts honored god of the Sun. According to the legend, it during the winter was in captivity at the master of the dead - Samkheyna (Samayna).

On October 31 (according to our calendar, it is natural), Celts celebrated the most important holiday which was called Samkheyn. The great value as it meant the end of harvesting was attached to a holiday and was a symbol of the end of the year old and the beginnings of year new.

Besides, Samkheyn is gate at winter. Celts, being pagans, believed in revival of life from death. On the Celtic legends, the white desert where there lives Samkheyn, is extraordinary beautiful. According to a legend, this night Samkheyn opens gate in the past and the future.

The large number of customs and ceremonies was connected with Samkheyn. This day in Ireland in the main town of the country, Tara, all soldiers gathered, the feast which proceeded day and night was arranged. In day of Samkheyn people extinguished fire in houses again to light it from sacred fire of priests - druids. It was day when the disturbed spirits and other magic beings could come to our world. Therefore Celts put on the same as spirits, and went on houses, asking food for calm of otherworldly forces.

Various fortune-telling got a job in Samayn. For example, young people in pairs threw into fire ivy leaves pointed - for the man, and round - for the woman. If on hot air leaves directed to each other - to be to a wedding and if scattered - to be to quarrel. Were often applied during the fortunetelling and fortune-telling nuts. The girl, to be convinced in truth of the guy, put on a lattice near fire two nuts with names. If nuts burned down together, everything was as it should be. If they scattered in the parties or did not burn - it was the incontestable testimony of incorrectness of the guy.

In the 1st century AD Romans won Celts, however did not begin to forbid a holiday - it coincided with Day of Pomona (the goddess of plants). Over time Samkheyn assimilated .

Hristianization of Britain and Ireland led to refusal of the population of the Celtic pagan customs. However Samayn did not forget.

In the 9th century the Father Grigory III postponed celebration of All Saints` Day from May 13 for November 1. At that time this day was devoted to that Saints who had no holiday within a year. Day the day before (on October 31) in Old English language was designated All Hallows Even or All Hallows Eve ( evening of all Saints ) . Later the name was transformed to Hallowe`en or Halloween.

Coincidence of dates of pagan and Christian holidays led to the fact that the pagan holiday survived, and the evil spirits of Celts turned into evil spirits Christian. During an era of the Middle Ages and Modern times Halloween became time of a witch sabbath.

The tradition is connected with Halloween to make terrible small lamps of pumpkins in which placed the burning candle. According to a legend, it was invented by the cunning and greedy Irish smith Jack who managed to deceive 2 times a devil and to receive from it the promise not to attempt upon own soul. However, for sins of the smith did not let in Paradise, and waiting for the Doomsday he had to wander on the ground, lighting the way with a piece of the heated coal which was protected from bad weather empty tykviny. From here also the name of a lamp - Jack - o - lanterns went.

As it stands Halloween appeared only in the 19th century thanks to the European emigrants who brought custom to the USA to brawl for Halloween and to observe all festive superstitions. In 1920 - x years there took place celebrations of Halloween in New - York and Los - Andzheles. The fashion to arrange began to extend to Halloween any small hooliganisms - to set fire to trees, to beat lamps etc. Popularity of similar celebration was so big that the American boy scouts decided to propagandize refusal of vandalism this day (without refusing the holiday). The boyscout slogan said: Sane Halloween! (something it seems You Give normal Halloween! ) . Hooliganism was replaced with a masquerade and begging of sweets.

Since 1950 - x years Halloween becomes favorable and in the commercial plan. Suits, jewelry, cards and other attributes enjoy considerable popularity. Since then Halloween became a favourite holiday of the American teenagers.

Halloween which was rather recently widely celebrated only in the USA and Canada gains the increasing popularity and in Europe. Besides he actively develops also our country: clubs organize thematic parties with a masquerade. Sometimes such parties are organized also on a private initiative school and university students. However, at all growing popularity of a holiday, and in Council of muftis of Russia are convinced of the Moscow patriarchy that Halloween - the holiday " alien to Russia;.

And in 2005 the Moscow authorities definitely spoke against this practice . The authorities did not forbid Halloween, but asked it not to celebrate at schools.