【The Origin of Halloween万圣节的神秘起源】
While there are many versions of the origins and old customs of Halloween, some remain consistentby all accounts. Different cultures view Holloween somewhat differently but traditional Halloween practices remain the same.
Halloween culture can be traced back to the Druids, a Celtic culture in Ireland, Britain and Northern Europe. Roots lay in the feastof Samhain, which was annually on October 31st to honor the dead.
Samhain signifies "summers end" or November. Samhain was a harvest festival with huge sacred bonfires, marking the end of the Celtic year and beginning of a new one. Many of the practices involved in this celebration were fed on superstition.
The Celts believed the souls of the dead roamed the streets and villages at night. Since not all spirits were thought to be friendly, gifts and treats were left out to pacifythe evil and ensure next years crops would be plentiful. This custom evolved into trick-or-treating.
Two-thirds of parents say their children will trick-or-treat this Halloween, but fewer minorities will let their kids go door to door, with some citing safety worries, a poll shows.
The survey found that 73 percent of whites versus 56 percent of minorities said their children will trick-or-treat on Wednesday.
That disparity in the survey is similar to the difference in how people view the safety of their neighborhoods, according to the poll by The Associated Press and Ipsos. Lower-income people and minorities are more likely to worry that it might not be safe to send their children out on Halloween night.
Ninety-one percent of whites, compared with 75 percent of minorities, said they felt their kids would be secure when they went out seeking candy in their area.
Similarly, 93 percent of people earning $50,000 or more said their communities are safe for trick-or-treating, compared with 76 percent of those making less than $25,000.
Nearly two-thirds of the people in the survey said their households will distribute Halloween treats to children who come to call; the likeliest to pass out goodies include younger and higher-earning people.
Seventy percent of people in the poll who consider themselves liberals and 67 percent of the moderates questioned said they would hand out treats, compared with 55 percent of conservatives.
Of those adults whose children will not trick-or-treat this year, one-quarter cited safety worries and about a half said they do not celebrate Halloween.
"It's demonic," said Donna Stitt, 37, a nursing aide from Barto, Pa., with four young children. "People are celebrating the dead. I'm not into that."
Last October, a Gallup Poll found 11 percent said they do not celebrate Halloween for religious reasons.