Good morning principal, teachers and fellow students, I am Gordon Lau from form 5C. Today I would like to talk about the history of Halloween. Before starting my sharing, I’d like to ask you some questions. Do you know what the date of Halloween is? Yes, it starts from 31st of October to the 1st of November. So what you are going to do on that day? Get candles? Play with friends at Ocean Park? Eat pumpkins with your family? Or will you consider about what the original purpose of celebrating Halloween is?
In history, Halloween is the traditional festival for Brittonic Celts. They thought that the end of October was the end of summer and the beginning of winter. They treated Halloween as the “darker half” in the whole year, which meant that spirits or fairies could be come out more easily into the world, and people would be dangerous on that day. To make the fairies scared, Celts would put on masks at Halloween.
On the other hand, for Christians, Halloween is a festival for them to commemorate the martyrs. In the early-church, because of persecution of the Roma government, many Christians were killed. After the death of martyrs, many Christians would commemorate them on the places that the martyrs were killed. When the time past, the number of martyrs increased. Some churches decided to set up a date to commemorate the martyrs. The first church of deciding setting up a festival for martyrs was the Antioch church. After that, the Roman Catholic Church shifted the date of All Saints' Day to 1st November, which is now the day after Halloween.
You may ask me that why Halloween would become a festival for people playing together? This is because the presence of American pop culture, which had changed Halloween from a festival of commemorating martyrs to a festival of playing with ghosts.
Before celebrating a festival, I suggest that we should first understand the original purpose of it, especially when we’re celebrating Halloween. If not, then why do we still need to celebrate the festival?
Have a great Halloween and thank you for listening.
By LAU Gordon 5C (11)