2006年 9月 11日
作者: Erik Knear

毎年 10月31日はハロウィーンです。 日本でもこの時期は ハロウィーンにちなんだ 面白い装飾品やキャンディーが店頭に並んでいるので、よく知られていると思います。 でも、どうしてハロウィーンという日が設けられたのかは 知らない人が多いのではないでしょうか。 そこで、エリックにハロウィーンの起源を紹介してもらいました。

It was a dark October night in Ireland, 1041. The people living in the small village of Kildare were becoming worried about the end of the month. They knew that November 1st would be a celebration of all the Holy Saints in their religion. This was a happy event they called “All Holymas” and they looked forward to the celebration. It was the day before they feared. This was a day they called “All Holy Eve” (Halloween).

What is that hollow pumpkin with a scary face and a candle inside?mus0041jackolantern

This is the Jack-o’-Lantern, and is probably the best known symbol of Halloween. The devilish story behind the eerie pumpkin is an interesting tale to tell. The Irish legend tells of Jack, a lazy but shrewd farmer who used a cross to trick the Devil, then refused to free him unless he agreed to never let Jack into Hell. The Devil agreed. When Jack died, he was too sinful to be allowed into Heaven, but the Devil wouldn’t let him into Hell.

So, Jack carved out one of his turnips, put a candle inside it, and began endlessly wandering the Earth for a resting place. He was known as "Jack of the Lantern", or Jack-o’-Lantern.

Source: Wikipedia

The people of Kildare knew that on the night of October 31st the dead would enter the world of the living and go to every house in their small village trying to possess the villagers. To prevent this, the villagers would disguise themselves in old dirty clothes with muddy faces and walk the streets of Kildare pretending to be zombies.

Not everyone believed the dead would go door to door trying to possess the living. These people stayed at home and prepared for All Holymas. Sometimes they would answer a knock at their door to find ghouls and goblins in front of their house. Because they weren’t sure if these visitors were really the dead or just the villagers in costume, they would give them a cake or some candy to make them happy and go away.

This has been an on going tradition celebrated all over the world for hundreds of years. Today, we don’t go Trick-or-Treating in order to confuse the dead, but it is a fun way to continue one of the oldest celebrations in the western world. Have a safe and happy Halloween!