Automata from the museum Сollection repository in the thematic video "Halloween 2020"

Halloween is a holiday that goes back to the traditions of the ancient Celts of Ireland and Scotland.

For Russians, Halloween is a relatively new holiday. In fact, its history is rooted in antiquity. Today's Halloween is a modified celebration of the ancient Celts called “Samhain”.

It arose due to the fact that the Celts, who divided the year into two equal halves, the first period - from May to October - was considered good and bright, and the period from November to April – cold and, accordingly, the time of evil and darkness. Overnight from October 31 to November 1 was the boundary between these two periods of the year. According to the Celts perception, on the night of Samhain, an invisible door opened between our world and the world of spirits, through which the deceased relatives could visit their living descendants.

Hence, together with them all kinds of evil spirits could penetrate into the world of people. The Celts took measures to protect themselves and their homes from all these monsters - they gathered around bonfires with their druid priests, made sacrifices to pagan gods, put on animal skins to scare away evil spirits, and brought fire from a sacred fire to their dwellings...

With the coming of the Christian religion in Europe, pagan holidays were pressed, and then completely replaced by the Christian ones. The reason for the fun remained, but the meaning changed dramatically.

In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III decided to reschedule the All Saints Day to November 1. Thus, October 31 became the eve of this holiday. In English, it sounded like All Hallows Even, which was later reduced to the laconic Halloween.

The ancient traditions, having gone through some transformation, still exist. Only instead of wild animal skins on Halloween, it is customary to wear character costumes and fancy dresses. The sacred fire is still brought into the house in lanterns carved from pumpkins.

Pumpkin-shaped glue vessel (jade, silver, early 20th century) is presented in the museum Collection section "Lapidary Works of Art”.

Halloween came to Russia in the 90s, and did not acquired traditions similar to those that exist in Europe or America, where Halloween has been celebrated for centuries.

Russians treat Halloween simply as a reason to have fun, wear fancy costumes, and spend time with friends. Like many holidays in other countries that have come to Russia, Halloween has lost its original meaning, has lost some of its traditional rituals and acquired new ones.

Paying tribute to the established tradition, museum Collection created a short video, in which amusing automata from the museum Collection section Automata” are filmed: "Monkey in Pineapple", "The pastry chef hiding in brioche", "Bébé Rose". They all were created circa 1900 by the French company Roullet & Decamps.

Adapted from of JSC Publishing House "Komsomolskaya Pravda"