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 The Halloween

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thaer

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Registration date : 2008-11-18

PostSubject: The Halloween   Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:48 am

Halloween, holiday observed on the evening of October 31 in most areas of North America and in some areas of Western Europe. The holiday is symbolically associated with death and the supernatural. Halloween falls on the eve of All Saints’ Day, also known as Allhallows or Hallowmas, a holy day in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. Originally a pagan festival of the dead, All Saints’ Day was established by the Catholic Church in the 9th century to honor Christian saints. All Souls’ Day, a holy day established by the Catholic Church in the 10th century, is also closely linked to Halloween. All Souls’ Day, on November 2, is observed to help purify the spirits of the dead.
Halloween is historically related to similar folk holidays celebrated in other countries. The Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that coincides with All Souls’ Day, blends Roman Catholic and Native American traditions about the souls of the dead. On the Day of the Dead, Mexicans decorate their homes with playful imagery of animated human skeletons, leave offerings of food for wandering spirits, and tend the graves of their deceased relatives.
Most Halloween festivities are based on folk beliefs concerning supernatural forces and spirits of the dead. Halloween decorations typically feature imagery associated with supernatural beings such as witches, werewolves, vampires, and ghosts. Images thought to symbolize bad omens—such as black cats, bats, and spiders—are also commonly featured in Halloween decorations.
The most celebrated Halloween decoration is the jack-o’-lantern, traditionally a hollowed-out pumpkin carved to resemble a grotesque face and illuminated by a candle placed inside. The jack-o’-lantern derives its name from a character in British folktales. According to these tales, the soul of a deceased person named Jack O’Lantern was barred from both heaven and hell and was condemned to wander the earth with his lantern. Orange and black, colors associated with pumpkins and darkness respectively, figure prominently in most Halloween decorations.
Dressing in costume is one of the most popular Halloween customs, especially among children. Traditional costumes usually represent witches, ghosts, and other supernatural beings. However, costumes inspired by contemporary popular culture, such as politicians or movie characters, have become increasingly common in recent years. Adults often favor costumes with satirical or humorous overtones.
Trick-or-treating is another Halloween tradition, in which costumed children go from house to house soliciting candy or other treats from their neighbors. According to this custom, children greet each homeowner with the cry “Trick or Treat,” suggesting that some sort of prank will be played unless treats are provided. Formerly, trick-or-treaters vandalized the house if no treats were produced or if the treats met with their disapproval. Since the early 20th century, however, the threat of tricks has been largely ceremonial. Beginning in the 1970s, the practice of trick-or-treating went into a sharp decline after unsubstantiated rumors spread about homeowners distributing poisoned Halloween candy to children. Many parents also became concerned about their children wandering through the neighborhood after dark. Today, many parents accompany children when they go trick-or-treating.
In some areas of the country, costume parties have replaced trick-or-treating as the favored form of Halloween entertainment. Hosts of these parties often hold contests to select the best costume among the guests. Traditional Halloween diversions have also enjoyed renewed popularity as party activities. For example, many Halloween parties feature contests of bobbing for apples, a centuries-old game in which contestants try to retrieve apples floating in a tub of water using only their mouth. While children’s Halloween parties are generally held in private homes, many bars and nightclubs sponsor modified versions of such festivities for adults..
[img][url=http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=7&u=13291058][img]http://i69.servimg.com/u/f69/13/29/10/58/312.jpg[/img][/url][/img]
[img][url=http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=8&u=13291058][img]http://i69.servimg.com/u/f69/13/29/10/58/411.jpg[/img][/url][/img]
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PostSubject: Re: The Halloween   Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:30 am

thnx for the info

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