Religion, paganism, tradition or culture Witches Night is part of our history since ancient times
The Halloween party, also known as the Night of the Dead or Witches Night is held annually in many countries. The date of Halloween is the 31 of October. Specifically, the night of October 31 to November 1, All Saints’ Day. For this reason, this day is also known as Halloween. Originally called All Hallow’s Eve. The word “hallowen” means sacred.
Little bit of History
The Witches Night has a Celtic origin (concretely is known by the name of Samhain). This holiday was commemorating the end of the harvest season and the good weather. It was also considered as the Celtic New Year. As from this moment began the cold and the darkness, during that night the spirits took advantage to return and to mingle between the alive ones. According to tradition, “death infiltrated the living with the intention of taking away some souls”. To deceive the dead, the Celtic Druids disguised themselves as spirits and gave them all kinds of offerings to keep them happy.
Over the years this festivity has spread to many countries. The nations most customary to celebrate Halloween are the United States, Ireland and United Kingdom. Some Latin American countries also join in this celebration. Even in Spain, it is also celebrated by many people, especially boys and girls, and young people. Although unknown by much of the population in Spain from the fourth century began to celebrate the feast of All Saints Day commemorating the martyrs persecuted during the first centuries of Christianity. We can say that the current Halloween or Witches Night is a mixture of Celtic and Catholic tradition.
Witches Night in Spain
Pumpkins, witches, ghosts and skeletons can not miss in a good Halloween party but nevertheless in Spain we have a series of traditions and cultural and culinary customs that have accompanied this festivity:
- Visit the cemetery on November 1
- Typical sweets: Huesos de Santo, Fritters, Panellets
- Don Juan Tenorio, the most famous scene of this play takes place in the cemetery, producing apparitions of dead (souls)
- The path of the souls, in different points of Spain are carried out peculiar activities aimed at illuminating the way to the souls and avoiding to take the alive ones, one of which I found more interesting: In Begíjar (Jaén) goes out to the street with pachas of porridge to cover with them the locks of the houses and thus to prevent the entrance to the evil spirits. In the homes the path to the souls of the deceased with oil butterflies is illuminated in the windows.
Undisputed protagonists: Witches
Legend has it that the witches gathered together in two harvests twice a year called by the Devil: April 30 and October 31. Halloween witches symbolize that this last day of October Satanic powers and witchcraft is at its highest level. It is logical that their rites have been mixed with the current celebration of Halloween, to the point that Halloween is also called “The Witches Night”. The word “witch” derives from the old Saxon term “wicca”, or “wise”. And it was thought that witches, being possessors of magic, also possessed the maximum wisdom. Witches are worshipers of the deities of nature and possess living talismans or symbols by which they derive their dark powers. The most common talisman is the cat.
So if you already know what your costume will be for this night, do not forget to leave the windows of your house lit for the souls to pass by.
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