Canadian holidays: Halloween

On October 31, 2011, in Did You Know that...?, Life in Canada, by Mihaela Mindicanu

Every year on October 31 Canada celebrates Halloween, one of the oldest and most commercial holidays in the world. It is not a statutory holiday, nothing changes, except for the fact that the houses are decorated and there are pumpkins everywhere. Children simply love it, as they guise, receive many candies and have a lot of fun.

Origins
A holiday celebrated all over the north-American continent, Halloween came here in the nineteenth century along with the thousands of Irish immigrants.
The science people say that at the origins this holiday had different meanings for Romans, Celtics and Christians.

The Celtic people celebrated on the last day of October the end of the warm season, thanking Gods for the harvest that would serve them during the cold winter months.

The story says that on this day the spirits of the dead come back on the Earth to find a body to live in, this being the only way to have life after death.

The villagers considered that on this day the notion of space and time does not exist, thus the spirits being able to interact with the live ones. Those who did not want to be possessed used to extinct the fire hoping that the spirits would not choose a cold and unpleasant body. They dressed up and organized noisy parties in order to scare the spirits.

Nowadays it became a holiday with no meaning, some adults take it as a simple reason to party in costumes, children go to school dressed up and when the darkness falls, they go door-to-door in their neighbourhood ‘trick-or-treating’. If the hosts don’t want the children to play them a trick they have to treat the little ones with candies.

Interesting facts
According to the tradition, if someone wears his clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, he will see a witch at midnight.

Centuries ago young women used to believe that on this night they can see the name or face of the future husband and did all kind of magic with mirrors, hairbreadths and apples.

The colors of Halloween are orange and black, orange being the symbol for the harvest and autumn and black the color of death.

The hugest pumpkin in the world had 821 kg and won the World Pumpkin Contest in 2010.

Believe it or not, Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.

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