Originally celebrated by the Irish, Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which means “summer’s end” in Gaelic. It may seem like it is all about costumes and candies nowadays, but Halloween also has deep roots in spooky superstitions since its beginning, dating back about 2000 years ago. So since Halloween is fast approaching, here is a list of most old Halloween superstitions and symbols should know.
In Germany, people also pray for the souls of their dead at Halloween. What is special, however, is that they additionally put all the knives of the house away. This is because they do not want to risk harm befalling the returning spirits.
Stone’s throw from death
An old Celtic tradition was to start huge bonfires on Halloween. Afterwards, if it had burned out, a circle of ashes has to be made from each fire. Inside this circle, every individual from the different families which had made a fire should put a pebble. In the event that any stone was out of its place, or harmed the next day, it was a sign that the one who owned the disrupted stone would die within a year.
Feed the Energy
In Austria, some people will leave a lighted lamp, bread, and water on the table before retiring on the eve of Halloween. Such things will welcome the souls back to earth on a night, which for the Austrians, was thought to overflow with cosmic energies.
Lighting the way
China’s Halloween festival which is known as Teng Chieh celebrates the dead. Here, they offer water and food to the photos of the deceased. They also light lanterns in order to illuminate the way of the souls as they wander the earth on the eve of Halloween.