lily85 于2014-10-24发布 l 已有人浏览
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Top 10 Halloween Symbols and What They Mean


Halloween is upon us, and with it we see all the standard Halloween decorations and symbols –Lanterns, scarecrows, etc.? Did you ever wonder where these symbols come from?? When did Halloween actually start?? Why does it mean we have to buy candy, or dress up in costumes?? All your Halloween questions are about to be answered.


Halloween as we know it today bears little resemblance to the Roman harvest festivals especially celebrated the apple harvest.


The name Halloween comes from the 1500’s, and is a variation on “All-Hallows-Even”, the night before All Saints Day, or All Hallows Day.? As with many things, the Catholic Church had a holiday to coincide with a pagan celebration.?

万圣节名字的由来大约在1500年代。是由“All-Hallows-Even”演变而来。在天下圣徒之日(All Saints Day)即万圣节的前夕,天主教的教堂会以一个异教徒为批判对象举行一次集会。这就是万圣节的起源

So what do witches, ghosts, goblins, and the like have to do with all this history?? Read on to find out.


Corn Husks and Stalks of Wheat


The significance of corn husks and stalks of wheat is pretty straightforward.? Halloween comes in the autumn, the traditional festival celebrated the end of summer and the end of the harvest, so these images are meant to represent the end of harvest and the beginning of winter.? Corn and wheat are symbols of agricultural change, and the change of the seasons.?


The Colors Orange and Black


The colors orange and black are most likely further representations of the time of year, rather than any Halloween lore or mythology.? The color orange likely represents autumn, when the leaves change from green and orange pumpkins are ripe for the picking.? As mentioned earlier, the Celtic festival marked the transition between “light” days and “dark” days – so the black likely represents those dark days of winter when there are fewer daylight hours to attend to the fields and crops.? Of course, the modern secular Halloween retailers have certainly pushed the orange-and-black as official colors of Halloween, so such an explanation seems weak, but it’s true.? Sorry, to quote some movie somewhere, “orange is the new black.”? Or pink.? Or something.




As we move more into the “spooky” tales of the Halloween symbol, we’ll start with spiders.? Go to a Halloween party and you’re sure to see fake spider webs spread all over the place.? Forgoing a discussion of any potential mystical qualities a spider might have (because, ew), it is significant that spiders weave webs, which has long been associated with the passing of time, progress, and fate.? OK, so maybe that’s a little mystical too.? All in all, though, the spider’s spinning of its web is a great natural representation of the cycle of life – a spider spins its web, bugs fly into the web, nourish the spider, etc.? Also, spiders like dusty, dark places




Bats are nocturnal?creatures, so it’s natural that a celebration about the end of the light seasons and the beginning of the dark ones would incorporate them.? Additionally, in the old days Halloween meant big bonfires, which draw mosquitoes and moths, which would in turn draw bats,。Also, once vampire legends made their way into Halloween folklore, the position of the bat was set – since it was thought that vampires could transform into bats.?


Black Cats


OK, so while Halloween started out to be about the end of harvest, etc., there are some ancient cultures who also believed that, on Halloween night, the veil between the living world and the spirit world was, if not lifted entirely, at least a little thinner.? Ancient Celtic religions taught that cats were reincarnated souls of humans, and that they were able to see the future.? Also, it was thought (as mentioned earlier) that witches could turn into cats.? Truth be told, most single ladies were thought to be witches, and, just like today, many of the single ladies had?cats.? So, in the 1600’s or so, the local cat lady would have probably been tried for witchcraft.




The Druids and the Celts believed that the skull was the “psychic seat” of the human soul.? All in all, skulls and skeletons are associated with Halloween because they represent the end of the physical part of life, something that is connected to Halloween both because of the death of the “light” seasons and because of the perceived connection to the spirit realm.




The idea of ghost plays into this idea that Halloween night is the one night that the spirits of the ancestors are able to walk among the living.?


Masks and Costumes


Speaking of ghosts, what is Halloween without costumes?? Back in Celtic times, it was thought that if you could trick the spirit, the spirit would refrain from bothering you about pesky things like tributes and respect.? On a night that the “veil” between the spirit world and the natural world was so thin, it’s best to pretend to be someone else.? In the 1950’s, trick-or treating became all the rage in the United States (can you believe it was that late?)


Pumpkin lanterns


Originally, the beggars put candles inside them to light their way from house to house to beg and pray.? Eventually, the tradition changed to carving pumpkins, and Jack-o-Lanterns as we know them were born.? One legend sticks out above all others in regards to the Jack-o-lantern tradition.? An Irishman named “Stingy Jack” was a?drunk?and a prankster, and he managed to make both God and the Devil angry.? He died, and neither heaven nor hell wanted him, so he was stuck wandering around on earth.? He carried a turnip, hollowed out, with a candle inside, to light his way, and to keep him from knocking on their door, the Irish would carve scary jack-o-lanterns to put around their houses to keep him away.? Or, so they believed, and a tradition was born.




What’s the go-to Halloween costume for most little girls?? Oh right – some Disney princess.? What?WAS the go-to Halloween costume for little girls until about 10 years ago?? Witch!? What’s the go-to costume for most female people who get talked into dressing up for their office’s Halloween party?? Witch!? What’s the central subject of most Halloween movies?? Witch!Witches were feared, and it was believed that their “powers” were at their greatest on Halloween night.? It was thought that witches were in league with the devil. Still, the image of a witch riding her broomstick across a full moon is one of the most traditional Halloween symbols or images today.


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