top of page

Halloween, Samhain či Sviatok mŕtvych?/Halloween, Samhain or All Saints' Day?

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Scroll down for the English version of this article


Ak vraštíte nos pre pohľade na dekorácie vypchatých mačiek a vyblednutých tvárí zombíkov v obchodoch, chápem vás. Niektorí to s gýčom dohnali do dokonalosti. Prečo sú ale čarodejnice nadšené z oslavy Halloweenu, a uškŕňajú sa pri každom zachichotaní plastovej tekvice? Odpoveď je jednoduchá. Je to ich Nový rok, čiže podobne ako väčšina ľudí oslavuje Silvester bujarou zábavou, my oslavujeme Samhain.



Samhain (čítaj sou-win, 31.Október) je tretí, a zároveň posledný festival úrody. Sme na prahu zimy a všetko, čo na poliach počas roka rástlo, sa zdá byť mŕtve. Je to obdobie temna, uzatvorenia sa do seba a rozjímania, kým opäť príde svetlo a nádej znovuzrodenia na sviatok Yule. V tomto období je prah medzi mŕtvymi a živými najtenší a to, že nosíme masky nám pripomína, že i my raz spočinieme v studenej zemi. A aj keď sa vám oslava smrti môže zdať morbídna, pripomeňme si, že kary, oslavy po pohrebe blízkych, sú presne takouto oslavou. Zároveň si uvedomujeme, že bez smrti neexistuje život.


Ak si chcete v tento sviatok uctiť svojich predkov, pripravte si ich fotografie a vystavte si ich na "oltár" (oltár môže byť obyčajná polička). Typickými farbami pre dekorácie sú čierna, oranžová a fialová, ak to chcete posunúť o level vyššie, hoďte k tomu pár kostí, sušené kvety a tekvice. Netreba to preháňať, aj keď moja dcéra chcela odísť z obchodu so spievajúcou ježibabkou. Nepodľahnite! Alebo áno, je to vaša vec, alebo ako hovoria Američania "you do you."



Jedlo na stole sa nesie v oranžových a červených farbách. Typickým pokrmom sú jablká, varené víno, granátové jablko, pokrmy z tekvice a koreňovej zeleniny a dezerty od výmyslu sveta zdobené cukrovými kostričkami, pavučinami z marshmallow a krvou z červenej repy. Typickými sú aj pokrmy z mäsa, začína sa polovačka, a preto sa októbrový spln volá Lovecký.


Zvyk chodenia na cintoríny vychádza z pohanskej kultúry. V minulosti boli predkovia pozývaní na festivaly živých, a ak ste videli rozprávku Coco, isto viete, že majú ďaleko od morbídnosti. Naopak, sú plné kvetov a jedla. Jeden taký festival sa každoročne koná v mestečku Barcelonette vo Francúzsku. Moja dcéra o ňom natočila celkom vtipné video. Sviečky na hroboch zas symbolizujú ohne, ktoré sa počas stáročí pálili na privolanie návratu svetla.



V škandinávskej mytológii, ktorú som zbožňovala počas štúdia histórie, je Hel bohyňou smrti a podsvetia, a je zobrazovaná ako krásna deva z jednej, a smrtka z druhej strany. Hel sprevádzala mŕtvych do podsvetia, tí, čo zomreli v bitke však šli do Ódinovej Valhaly. V keltskej mytológii bol Samhain začiatkom Nového roka a oficiálny začiatok zimy. Bohyňa Cailleach, podobná smrtke vo filme Perinbaba, vedie vlkov a jelene po planinách počas tuhej zimy. Bohyňa Morrigan je zas bohyňou vojny, smrti a osudu a Cerridwen bohyňou múdrosti, transformácie a znovuzrodenia. Gréci a Rimania oslavovali dva sviatky mŕtvych - Feralie vo februári a Lemúrie v máji. Po príchode kresťanstva boli oba presunuté na November a nazvané Sviatok všetkých svätých. Bohyne Persepóna, Demeter, Hádes a Hekate sa spájajú s týmto obdobím. V Mexiku sa zas oslavovuje Día de los Muertos, ktorý pravdepodobne vychádza z tradície Aztékov.


Či už sa chystáte osláviť Halloween, Sviatok všetkých svätých alebo Samhain, nezabudnite, že ku smrti patrí aj radosť zo znovuzrodenia. Vyrežte svietniky z tekvíc (kedysi sa na tento účel používala repa) na osvetlenie cesty pre zosnulých, zahrajte sa hru vyberania jabĺk ústami (ak vraj potom ošúpete jablko na jeden raz a hodíte šupu za seba, budete vedieť svoj osud), položte obľúbené jedlo vašich predkov zvonka na okno, a zaspomínajte si na svojich drahých. O chvíľu opäť príde svetlo a nádej, ako je tomu každý rok. Koleso roka sa točí ďalej.


Halloween, Samhain or All Saints' Day?


If you cringe at the sight of stuffed cat decorations and zombie faces in the store, I hear you. Some people just tend to overdo it. So why are witches so excited about Halloween and giggle every time they see a plastic pumpkin? The answer is very simple. It's their New Year! Most people celebrate New Year's Eve with wild partying, and we witches celebrate Samhain.


Samhain (read sou-win, October 31) is the third and last harvest festival. We are on the threshold of winter and everything that grew in the fields during the year seems to be dead. It is a time of darkness, introspection and contemplation, before the light and hope of rebirth come again at Yule. In this period, the veil between the dead and the living is the thinnest, and the fact that we wear masks reminds us that we too will one day rest in the cold earth. And even if the celebration of death may seem morbid to you, remember that the funeral celebrations have the same origin. At the same time, we realize that there is no life without death.


If you want to honor your ancestors on this holiday, prepare their photos and display them on the "altar" (the altar can be an ordinary shelf). Typical colors for decorations are black, orange and purple, if you want to take it up a level, throw in some bones, dried flowers and pumpkins. No need to exaggerate, although my daughter wanted to leave the store with a singing hag. Don't give in! Or do, as the Americans say "you do you."


Typical dishes for Samhain include apples, mulled wine, pomegranate, pumpkin and root vegetable dishes, and desserts decorated with sugar cubes, marshmallow webs, and beetroot blood. Meat dishes are also typical, the hunting season begins, and that's why the October full moon is called Hunter's moon.


The habit of going to cemeteries comes from pagan culture. In the past, ancestors were invited to festivals of the living, and if you've seen the movie Coco, you know that they are far from morbid and rather funny. One such festival takes place every year in the town of Barcelonette in France. My daughter made a pretty funny video about it. The candles on the graves symbolize the fires that were lit over the centuries to summon the return of light.


In Norse mythology, which I adored during my history studies, Hel is the goddess of death and the underworld, and is depicted as a beautiful maiden on the one hand, and a mortal on the other. Hel accompanied the dead to the underworld, but those who died in battle went to Odin's Valhalla. In Celtic mythology, Samhain was the beginning of the New Year and the official start of winter. The goddess Cailleach, similar to death in the film Perinbaba, guides wolves and deer across the plains during the harsh winter. The goddess Morrigan is the goddess of war, death and fate and Cerridwen the goddess of wisdom, transformation and rebirth. The Greeks and Romans celebrated two festivals of the dead - Feralia in February and Lemuria in May. After the advent of Christianity, both were moved to November and called All Saints' Day. The goddesses Persephone, Demeter, Hades and Hekate are associated with this period. In Mexico, Día de los Muertos is celebrated, which is probably based on the tradition of the Aztecs.


The myth of Persephone


According to Greek Mythology, Persephone, the queen of the underworld, was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, the goddess of harvest and fertility. She had many suitors, the most persisting among them was Hades, the god of the Underworld. But when Hades asked Demeter to marry her daughter, Demeter refused.


One day, while the young girl was playing and picking flowers the earth beneath her feet suddenly cleaved open and through the gap Hades himself came out on his chariot with black horses. Hades grabbed the lovely maiden before she could scream for help and descended into his underworld kingdom while the gap in the earth closed after them. Heartbroken Demeter wandered the earth looking for her daughter until her good friend Hecate, goddess of wilderness and childbirth, advised her to seek for the help of Helios, the all-seeing Sun god, in order to find her daughter. Helios revealed to her that Persephone had been kidnapped by Hades.


Angry Demeter decided to take a long and indefinite leave from her duties as the goddess of harvest and fertility, with devastating consequences. The earth began to dry up, harvests failed, plants lost their fruitfulness, animals were dying for lack of food and famine spread to the whole earth, resulting in untold misery. Desperate Zeus promised Demeter to restore Persephone to her if it can be proved that the maiden stays with Hades against her will. Otherwise, Persephone belongs to her husband.


The crafty Hades learned this agreement and tricked his reluctant bride, who was crying all day and night from despair, to eat a few seeds of the pomegranate fruit. This was the food of the Underworld and every time someone ate even a few seeds of this, then, after a while, he would miss life in the Underworld. When the gathering in front of Zeus took place and Persephone was asked where she would like to live, she answered she wanted to live with her husband. When Demeter heard that, she got infuriated and accused Hades that somehow he had tricked her daughter.


A great fight followed and Demeter threatened that she would never again make the earth fertile and everyone on Earth would die. To put an end to this quarrel, Zeus decided that Persephone would spend half months with her husband in Hades and half months with her mother on Olympus. This alternative pleased none of the two opponents, nevertheless that had no other option but accept it.


Whether you're celebrating Halloween, All Saints' Day, or Samhain, remember that with death comes the joy of rebirth. Carve pumpkins to light the way for the deceased, play a game of picking apples with your mouth (if you peel an apple once and throw the skin behind you, you will know your fate), put the favorite food of your ancestors outside the window, and remember your loved ones. In a little while, light and hope will come again, as it does every year. The wheel of the year continues to turn.

91 views0 comments

Commenti


bottom of page