Where Did Halloween Symbols Come From?

Halloween is a time to perform tricks and pranks, tell scary stories, light fires and tell fortunes, etc. like any other major event, Halloween though informal; it has symbols associated with it. Some of the symbols are controversial depending on the religious angle looked at. With different events, people associate them with what mostly happened during the time of the event and gave them the psychic natural mind feeling that they were there and allows them to engage in the full spirit of the event. Some of the most common Halloween symbols are as mentioned. This will always appear, in recent times, let’s say in magazines, movies and other ways of expressing Halloween.

  •  Large bonfire: In the history of Halloween, the Celtic would come together a day on the Halloween day and light a large bonfire. With this, they made called the fire sacred and what would give the light and protect them from the ghosts that had escaped the dark side. To them, the light was sacred and something to encourage them.
  • Burning crops & animals: The Celtics saw the need to protect themselves from the wrath of the gods and ghosts that had escaped and entered earth as a result of the opening between the earth and the land of the dead. They gave sacrifice so as to please the dead and save themselves from their wrath. It was to also request the gods to guide them as they entered the dark winter season which was largely associated with many deaths due to the cold and reduced food. They also used it to thank their gods for the harvest through the summer and that it will be enough to take them through the dark season.
  • Wearing costumes: This is common today than in the past. During the times of the Celtics, they wore costumes with animal skins and animal heads to disguise themselves from the ghosts that were roaming the land. They also saw it as a noble gesture towards their gods. During the Roman Empire times, people wore costumes to remember the saints and martyrs who had died as a sign of respect and recognition of their efforts while alive, and also signified how important and respected being a martyr or saint was. Today, costumes are still being worn but mostly to identify oneself either as a superhero or princess, witch, vampire and other superstitious beings that existed. People have even adopted other people as their costumes e.g. athletes, presidents and other celebrities and influential people in the modern day society.
  • Halloween bats& spiders:  After lighting a bonfire, many insects would appear out of the attraction of the light. With this, insect eating animals would also come in the presence of the fire and the most common were bats flying around. This came to be a common symbol in the Halloween night and people have embrace it till date as a way of signifying magic and the difference in time cycle.
  • Jack-o-lanterns/pumpkins: The Irish immigrated to the United States as they ran away from the famine in their land which destroyed all turnips and potatoes. Turnipsare what were originally used during the Halloween. Upon arriving in the United States, turnips were rare and they decided to use pumpkins as a perfect replacement and the symbol of the pumpkin remains to be the most common Halloween symbol in the world today.         
  • Skeletons: Halloween being a reminder and honour to the dead, skeletons are what are used to represent the dead who no longer share the physical stage of life. People would wear clothes drawn with skeletons to represent the dead and skulls to symbolize that the head remains the centre of humanity and is what controls the body.
  • Black cats:                   Black is a common colour to mean death and mystery, that which is beyond the unknown. Cats on the other hand are known to be creatures that can walk in the night without any light and yet see clearly. They have been linked with the superstitious world and served as a bridge since they are said to be able to see the other world which we can’t see, therefore the go between the living and the unknown world.
  • Witch:                          Witches have been known to be humans with supernatural powers who are able to communicate with the underworld. They are seen as the people who will be able to create a common understanding between the living and the dead.
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