For the last several years, late October means for more and more people hollowed pumpkins, creepy makeups and “bloody” parties, in other words, Halloween.Halloween or Hallowe’en (a shortening of the original name “All Hallows ‘Evening’ – All Saints Day), takes place on October 31, and some of the customs of the holiday are pumpkin carving and turning them into lamps, ignition of fires, visiting haunted places and watching horror films. The custom of picking pumpkins and turning them into lamps has its origins in Britain, the British and Irish scooping even potatoes to use them as candles on the Halloween night.It seems that this holiday has Celtic origins and not American, as many believe. Halloween is of pagan origin, an ancient Celtic festival in honor of the god of death, Samhain. How many of us know that even dressing in black costume for Halloween is a Celtic custom of the distant past, when people were disguising as ghosts and were lighting fires to confuse the demons not harm the people.But maybe some of you do not know that we also have a Romanian “horror” holiday. Legends say that on the night between 29 and 30 November, on St. Andrew, rituals were practiced, perhaps pagan, which aimed to protect people and their households. The eve of St. Andrew was considered to be a time when the boundary between visible and invisible disappeared, thus people being able to find out things about the coming year. Another belief of the people is that ghosts walk at night to steal people’s minds and fruits from trees, that there are werewolves and spells and charms are made, this night being also called the Night of the Undead.To avoid the ghosts, windows and doors of the houses are anointed with garlic, this way garlic gaining beneficial, protective powers.Also, on this night is believed that the wolf can turn his head, and it is invincible, this day being also called Wolf Day.This Wolf Day has a lot of superstitions: you shouldn’t sweep all day, take out the trash, comb, scratch, give alms or borrow anything, women turn pots and jugs with upside down or put out of hot fireplace the ashes so that ghosts are not sheltered in the heat or spread through the yard pieces of bread so the ghosts eat them and not enter the house. To protect animals peopl feed a grain mix with basil or they put a drop of holy water in their drinking water.
Also tonight, families seed wheat and in the New Year’s Eve, who has the most beautiful grain, that family will have a rich year.Elders say that if in the night of St Andrew the moon is full and sky is clear, the winter will be mild and if the sky is dark and the moon is full, it will be a harsh winter.Whether you choose to celebrate Halloween or St. Andrew’s, or why not both, Hotel Alpin in Poiana Brasov is at your service with many ways to relax and to chase “ghosts” in your life. In addition, nearby you can visit many places which are said to be haunted – the perfect place to be on a night like this. One more reason to come here is that Casle Bran organizes tomorrow between 8 pm and 1 am a Halloween party where you have the chance to meet Count Dracula.