Halloween is the most magical night in the year. This night is full of glowing jack-o-lanterns, bobbing for apples, tricks or treats and dressing in costume. It is a night of power, when the curtain that separates our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest. A Halloween night is celebrated on every October 31st. Many ancient and unconnected cultures celebrated this as a festival of the dead, like the Egyptians and pre-Spanish Mexicans. But the majority of our modern traditions can be traced to the British Isles. The Celts called it samhain and it was the New Year's Day, celebrated on 1 November. It was also a day of the dead; it was believed the dead could, if they wished, return to the land of the living for this one night, to celebrate with their family, tribe or clan. Extra places were set at the table and food set out for any who had died that year. And on the walls were lighted with lighted torches, so the dead could find their way. Even it was a fest of divination; this was the nigh par excellence for peering into the future, the reason for this has to do with the Celtic view of time. Celts view of time is cyclical, and Samhain is a night that exists outside of time and hence it may be used to view any other point in the future. And for this reason, at no other holiday is tarot card reading, crystal reading, or tea-leaf reading so likely to succeed. For the Christians the seeing of future is an illogical proposition, because they have a linear view of time. And samhain is not a fest of all the dead, but only the blessed dead, all those hallowed (made holy) by the agreement of God. And for this reason is it called All Hallow’s, later All Saints and All Souls. Perhaps the most famous icon of the holiday is the jack-o-lantern. In ancient time, it was used by the people who traveled the roads this night as a lantern. This lantern has a scary face to frighten away spirits who might otherwise lead one off course. Set on porches and windows, they cast the same spell of protection over the household. Mexico and other Latin American countries it is a day of the dead. In some regions, the evening of 31 October is the beginning of the Day of the Dead Children, which is followed on 1 November by the Day of the Dead Adults. Skeleton figures-candy (sugar skulls), toys, statues and decorations-are seen everywhere. It is a time for great festivity, with traditional plays and food.
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