From The Bench

Top Halloween Charm Ideas for Halloween 2021

Few other things can get people into the Halloween spirit than Halloween bracelet charms and sterling silver Halloween jewelry. From the classic skull pendant, witch jewelry (especially witch charms), Xinar has an extensive inventory of silver charms for every crafting need. We are your year-round Halloween store!

Halloween History

Only since the mid-1980s have we come to accept that Halloween’s distinctive role in modern culture (particularly American society) warrants attention beyond horror literature and children’s books.

Halloween’s Celtic-Irish-Scottish beginnings as both a commemoration of the dead and a harvest festival have developed into modern American traditions of “masked solicitation” and large-scale celebrations. In the twenty-first century, it has grown into a retailing boom, changing a festival that has been prohibited for literally centuries into the second most beloved day of the year in the United States.

Halloween Date

All Saints’ Day (also known as Haliday, Allhallowmas, or All Hallows’ Day) is a Christian feast day that falls on November 1st. The eve of this feast day is now called Halloween, which was taken from the longer “All Hallows’ Even.” This day honors all Christian saints (whether known or otherwise). Prayer for the dead is included in All Saint’s Day rituals. This is a day of holy obligation for Catholics, as they must abstain from work and attend mass.

The feast is commemorated by various denominations, including Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Protestants. In addition, there have been long-standing academic debates about the date for All Saints’ Day.

Many Catholic Church historians believe the date was shifted to November 1 (after the harvest) to help the Irish missionaries dissuade the Celts from celebrating Samhain. The grand celebration began at sunset on October 31st.

What is the Origin of Halloween?

Halloween origin: Halloween is essentially a mash-up of two holidays. According to existing research, it likely has roots in the Egyptian Feast of the Dead (which mourned the passing of Osiris), the Greek Anthesteria, and two Roman festivals (Lemuria and Feralia).

Halloween finds kinship across cultures, as well. China’s Yue Laan and Ch’ing Ming, and the Japanese Bon are modern examples of current festivals honoring the dead. For the past century, however, it has been widely assumed that Halloween’s closest progenitors were two pre-Christian festivals: the Roman Pomona and the Celtic Samhain. Both of these festivals were believed to have been celebrated on November 1, even in antiquity.

Why Do We Celebrate Halloween?

Recent Halloween scholarship has centered on whether the holiday’s character is owed to the Christian All Saints’ Day or the Celtic Samhain.  However, it’s challenging to overlook the significant distinctions between how this celebration is still observed in Celtic countries like Ireland (guising, pranking, and bonfires) and how it is also celebrated across Europe. European traditions of decorating the graves of loved ones and holding somber church services.

The day is still known as Samhain in some regions of Ireland, a testament to the pagan festival’s persistence. In Ireland, Halloween is frequently associated with fairies—another Samhain relic. Modern Halloween also owes plenty to the Guy Fawkes Day, which happens on November 5. Guy Fawkes Day may be responsible for some of Halloween’s feistier characteristics.

The little references to Halloween that exist before Guy Fawkes Day mention pranking, bobbing for apples, bells, and soul cakes. All of these references existed before 1606. In the notebooks of prominent jurist and lawmaker Bulstrode Whitelocke, one could find notes about what could rightly be the first Halloween party at a certain St. Dunstan’s Tavern.

Halloween Charms & Symbols Guide

Halloween would be incomplete without its symbols and silver charms. Likewise, Halloween jewelry will complete your fantasy/Halloween-themed look. Below are the most potent icons of the second-most celebrated day in the country.

Wizard

Wizards have had a remarkable revival in the last few decades because of literature and Hollywood. Hits like Lord of the Rings are certainly unforgettable, making wizards a timeless figure in Halloween. The term wizard is derived from the Middle English word “wys, which means “wise.” However, the wizard was not used to describe a man with magical abilities until around 1550.

In fantasy stories, wizards are frequently featured. Wizards are often portrayed as wise old guys with long white beards and flowing robes. To help or hurt other characters, he can cast magic spells or use his wand. Wizards can either be benign or evil. Wizards may also act as a mentor or guide to a story’s main protagonists.

Witches

She is the archetypal image of a withered hag in partnership with the devil, performing her malevolent arts by using a massive cauldron accompanied by a familiar (which is often depicted as a black cat). She’s always with an olio of strange and powerful herbs and a collection of weird animal parts, too. She is invariably associated with Halloween.

The word “witch” is said to be taken from “wicce,” which means “one who does magic.” The root of wicce was most likely means “to turn aside” or perhaps “to know.” It’s unknown exactly how witches became so closely associated with Halloween. Some academics believe that they became symbols of everything that was outside the church—and that they were representative of the early pagans who worked with demons and other negative entities.

Bats

The connection between Halloween and bats probably lies in that bats are primarily active at night. Nocturnal creatures are often viewed with horror and fright. Large bats like the fruit bat probably inspired the idea that bats can turn into creatures like vampires. Some bats have a specialized digestive system that cannot process anything else but blood—these bats have to drink blood from cattle and other mammals to survive. Other bats eat insects or fruits. 

Jack-o-Lantern

The modern jack-o’-lantern mainly refers to a pumpkin that’s been carved into an evil or grinning face. The jack-o’-lantern is used to decorate American houses and is maybe the single most famous emblem of Halloween.

In Europe (especially Scotland and Ireland), a jack-o’-lantern is usually a turnip instead of a pumpkin, which is carried as a lantern. The European jack-o’-lantern is hung from a string or pole on Halloween night. 

This is in stark contrast to the American jack-o’-lantern. Jack-o’-lanterns are popular not only for adornment but also for Halloween games. Pumpkin seeds are utilized in psychic and fortune-telling ceremonies, while other fruits and vegetables, like apples and squash, can also make alternative jack-o’-lanterns.

Aliens

We owe the world’s continuing fascination with aliens and extraterrestrial life to the science fiction canon in literature and film. The United States doesn’t have a shortage of great fantasy and science fiction writers, and the figure of the lone alien with pale skin, bulbous head and eyes, and slim fingers and toes is the epitome of the UFO streak in popular culture. Likewise, the belief that somewhere out there in the vast universe are sentient beings like us fuels pop culture phenomena like ET and War of the Worlds.

La Catrina and the Sugar Skull

Parallel to Halloween and the Samhain is the Days of the Dead or Días de los Muertos. Both sugar skulls and La Catrina are iconic emblems of the Latin American festival of the dead. In specific locations, the “Day of the Dead Children” (which is mainly celebrated around the home) begins on October 31st, followed by the “Day of the Dead Adults” (this is done at the graveyard) on November 1st, and so on until November 2nd. 

Days of the Dead celebrations were held during July and August in pre-conquest Mexico as Aztec feasts of the dead. The Days were attempted to be replaced by All Souls and All Saint’s Days by conquering Spaniards. Still, many of the surviving practices and the festive aspect of Días de los Muertos are likely pre–Columbian legacies.

La Catrina is said to have both cultural and political reverberations—it serves as a reminder that in the end, both the rich and poor will meet in the middle—minus their social class. We are all the same in the end.

Pentagram

For centuries and across many cultures, the five-pointed star has been treasured as a symbol of unity in the universe and life.

The goddess Kore, often known as the “star of knowledge,” has a pentagram as her sign. This symbol was known to the Pythagoreans as the pentalpha, which consisted of the letter A (also known as the “birth letter”) intertwined five times.

It’s a lovely, upbeat emblem for a variety of spiritual paths. The pentagram is a symbol for life.

Pirate

The pirate is another powerful symbol of Halloween, as these figures have always toed the line. We trace this Halloween emblem to the 16th century. Better, bigger, and faster ships were developed as technology progressed. 

Colonial expansion began with all of the new shipping that brought gold and other products to the colonies. Unfortunately, due to competing colonial ambitions and interests, it was easy for ambitious seamen to always find a way to legitimize the most heinous crimes of piracy.

Since ancient times, the so-called Barbary Coast, which used to refer to the coast of North Africa from Egypt’s western boundary to the Atlantic Ocean, has been notorious for piracy. Separate Islamic nations occupied the coast under the Ottoman Empire’s control from the 1500s to the 1800s.

Coffin

Coffins, whether open or not, are timeless constructions in the Halloween imagination. Folk beliefs and myths point to misfortune when a person sees a coffin. It might mean that the person might be meeting his death soon, or depending on what the coffin looks like, it might also indicate what type of death awaits the person.

Dracula

Bats and vampires are traditional Halloween symbols, mainly in the US. Vampires are traditional Halloween symbols, mainly in the US. A vampire is a supernatural entity that feeds on the vital energy of living people (usually blood). 

They are undead creatures who caused deaths and other mischiefs in the districts where they lived when they were still alive. Vampires are thought to have worn shrouds and were generally depicted as ruddy, bloated, or sometimes dark-skinned. The original vampire depiction in Europe stood in stark contrast with today’s gaunt and super pale vampire. This depiction dates from the early 1800s.

Vampiric creatures have been documented in most civilizations; the name vampire was first popularized in Western Europe after accounts of an 18th-century public frenzy in the Balkans. This event resulted in corpse staking and some severe vampirism accusations in some cases.  Local versions in Eastern Europe were called vrykolakas (Greece), strigoi (Romania), shtriga (Albania), among other names.

Please contact us if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for reading!

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