|The Grandma's celebrates Castanyada|
Castanyada, Magosto or Magüestu, Samhaín and Halloween are popular festivals mainly on All Saints' Day. In Catalonia, Andorra and Occitania, celebrations involve eating roast chestnuts, panellets or baked sweet potato and preserved fruit, candied or glazed fruit, typically with moscatell to drink.
It seems that the tradition of eating these foods comes from the fact that during All Saints' night, on the eve of All Souls' Day in the Christian tradition, bell ringers would ring bells in commemoration of the dead into the early morning. Friends and relatives would help with this task, and everyone would eat these foods for sustenance.
Other versions of the story state that the Castanyada originates at the end of the 18th century and comes from the old funeral meals, where other foods, such as vegetables and dried fruit were not served. The meal had the symbolic significance of a communion with the souls of the departed: while the chestnuts were roasting, prayers would be said for the person who had just died.
The festival is usually depicted with the figure of a castanyera: an old lady, dressed in peasant's clothing and wearing a headscarf, sitting behind a table, roasting chestnuts for street sale.
More information: La castanyada (Catalan Version)
|Tina Picotes celebrates Magosto/Magüestu|
The Magosto or Magüestu is the essential Galician, Asturian and Portuguese autumn pagan festival. In addition to chestnuts and local young wine, various foods have been incorporated such as sausages and other products made from the pig slaughter, which occurs precisely at that time.
Chestnut festival is traditionally celebrated in the same grove, starting early in the afternoon to collect firewood and chestnuts. One or more bonfires are lit with sticks and pine needles. Young people took to the streets. It was customary for the girls to bring the chestnuts, and for the boys to bring the wine. Chestnuts are roasted on the floor, directly in the fire. Children play to dirt their faces with soot and ash. The adults dance and sing, jumping over the remains of the fire.
More information: Festa do Magosto (Galician Version)
Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from the very beginning of one Celtic day to its end, or in the modern calendar, from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, this places it about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh.
|Joseph de Ca'th Lon celebrates Samhaín|
Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Similar festivals are held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf in Wales, Kalan Gwav in Cornwall, and Kalan Goañv in Brittany.
Samhain is believed to have Celtic pagan origins and there is evidence it has been an important date since ancient times. The Mound of the Hostages, a Neolithic passage tomb at the Hill of Tara, is aligned with the Samhain sunrise. It is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain.
More information: Samhaín (Celtic Guide)
Halloween or Hallowe'en, a contraction of All Hallows' Evening, also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints, hallows, martyrs, and all the faithful departed.
|Claire Fontaine celebrates Halloween|
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films.
In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes and soul cakes.
It was not until mass Irish and Scottish immigration in the 19th century that Halloween became a major holiday in North America. Confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-19th century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the 20th century it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.
More information: History of Trick-or-Treating
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.