The Celtic Celebration of Samhain and Halloween

900 Words4 Pages
For this essay I would like to compare and contrast the past and present, in regards to what was once known as the Celtic celebration of Samhain and its present day—somewhat—equivalent, that which is embraced now-a-days in the United States, Halloween. Halloween takes its roots from he Celtic-pagan celebration called Samhain; although it has also been sculpted by other cultures in the centuries that have past, the Celts are the foundation of the ideas of such a celebration. I would like to establish more of a contrast between the two celebrations: what exists now and here versus what existed then and there. Therefore, my main approach will be to establish the differences between these two uncanny celebrations; for example, the role that costumes had on both ends, and ultimately the somewhat vague parallels between both of the customs that each embraces. This paper will establish a likeness between both celebrations, but ultimately to exhibit the unlikeness, by the means of comparison, between Samhain and the mixture of cultures that is Halloween. The objective is to acknowledge the importance and significance it had for the Celtic peoples against the ones held here in the US and for its people. The whole idea that Halloween is held to, the spooky nature, has a lot to do with the Celts; this was a celebration for the dead in Celtic culture. The Celts believed that souls of the dead both malignant and pure dwelled on the physical realm on those specific days celebrated, therefore a door was open between a physical and a spiritual realm for the time being. The Celts held rituals on these dates, they celebrated and feasted; October 31st was the eve before their celebrations, November 1 was their new years. Sam... ... middle of paper ... ... its core in Celtic culture with Samhain. Both celebrations are similar in trivial terms, for there is a gap that separates them, both in meaning and customs. While the celebration of Samhain could be considered a sort of religious experience, Halloween takes the form of a capitalist experience; it is an industry that is exploited by the commercialization of its goods—the costumes, candy, as well as the decorations—this is what supplies the businesses involved with plenty of income. As to the people, the point of its celebration in the United States is exclusively secular and vague in its meaning; it is nothing but a celebration culminating at levels of mere entertainment, it’s nothing but a minor distraction. This was the Celtic New Year’s, it was meaningful, filled with valued substance; it was a sacred event that conspired an expression of an ancient culture.

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