Halloween in a nutshell - from the ancient times to our streets

The last day of October and the first day of November are special days in many countries and cultures. This is the time when people sit down and spend some time thinking about the ones who cannot be there anymore. Habits change from country to country. Hungarian people traditionally visit the graves of their loved ones, and in some places families get together to remember the old days, while they eat and drink. Here the emphasis on on November 1, which is commonly referred to as All Saints' Day. This day commemorates those who went up to heaven and were accepted by God.

Western countries remember differently, compared to the sombre traditions of our country, for instance. Their time comes on October 31, which is known as All Hallows' Eve, the short for which is Halloween. Let's see a little history!

We have to travel back in time, to the age of the ancient Celts.This period started at around 10000 B.C. and finished at around 600 B.C. Those people would gather on an autumn night every year hoping they could communicate with their departed loved ones. They would build a fire, throw bones into it and drink insane amounts of ale. It was like a party: they invited their heavenly ancestors to spend the night with them, but they were also prepared for unwelcome bad spirits as well. They wore masks and costumes so the bad spirits wouldn't recognize them and they also carved a jack-o-lantern to scare them away. After some centuries, this celebration was mainly held on the last day of October for a special reason: that was the last day of the year on the old Celtic calendar.

So this is how Halloween started in the very distant past, only to be kept alive in the western world. Actually, it became so popular among both young and old, that soon it started spreading across the globe, and is commonly celebrated almost worldwide. Kids and adults put on masks and costumes, carve jack-o-lanterns and have parties. Children do the famous trick-or-treat, and you had better give them a treat (mostly candies) or they will play some nasty tricks on you. We can only hope, that by so many people celebrating Halloween, all the good spirits are peaceful, and the bad ones are far-far away.