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In every occasion around the world, there is always a deity hallowed in their reverence. Halloween also has a few entities that represent this day, mostly comprising of those who live in the underworld. Who are they?
See the fact file below for more information on the Halloween Deities or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Halloween Deities worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Also called the festival of the dead, Halloween traditions were founded by the ancient Celts.
- It was also the popular mark of both an ending and a beginning in an eternal cycle – which warranted major celebration.
- The festival observed at this time was called Samhain – a special day where ghosts from the underworld were able to mingle with the living.
- Their priestly caste, the Druids, practiced the religion for a long time before they were branded negatively by the missionaries.
- People gathered to sacrifice animals, fruits, and vegetables. They also lit bonfires in honor of the dead, to aid them on their journey and to keep them away from the living.
- All Saints Day, otherwise known as All Hallows (hallowed means sanctified or holy), continued the ancient Celtic traditions.
- The effect of missionary conversion of many celts led the Samhain to be called a devil-worshipping practice.
- Rather than trying to obliterate native peoples’ customs and beliefs completely, the pope ordered his missionaries to allow them to worship their gods, only in different forms.
- Another way to divert Samhain was to make November First the official “All Saints’ Day,” for saints who do not have a special day devoted to them.
- November 2nd, known as All Souls Day – a day when the living pray for the souls of all the dead, was also implemented later on.
- The popularity of Halloween slowly began to include some underworld characters from different cultures across the world. Starting from the Celts, ‘Morrigan’, meaning great queen, is the deity that rules over both life and death.
- Another image of the afterlife in Norse Mythology is that of Hel, ruled by the goddess Hel herself. ‘Hel’ translates to hidden, which is fitting for her domain.
- From Egypt, Anubis was the god of the dead, tombing, and embalming. He was the son of Osiris and Nephthys, the goddess of death and mourning.
- Orcus was a god of the underworld, the punisher of broken oaths in Italic and Roman mythology.
- The Persian god of death, Ahriman, is the antagonistic bringer of death, disease, all ills, and every evil in the world.
- Among the ancient Sumerians, Ereshkigal was the goddess of Irkalla, ruler of the land of the dead. She controlled the destinies of the deceased in their journey beyond the grave.
- Mayans had Ah Puch – the god of death, darkness, and disaster, often depicted as a skeleton-like creature or in a bloated state that resembles the advanced stages of decomposition.
- Yama is the Hindu god of death and Lord of Naraka (hell). His name was then adapted in Buddhist, Chinese, Tibetan, Korean, and Japanese (Yami) mythology as the King of Hell.
- In Korea, Daebyeol, the supreme king of the underworld was the ill-fated twin who lost a bet between ruling the mortals and ruling the underworld.
- In the Philippines, Kamatayan is the most popular entity which represents impending death. With his scythe, Kamatayan can rip the soul of a person out of his body.
- Ninsusinak was the god of oaths and judge of the dead. The Assyrians and other Akkadian-speaking people knew him as Susinak.
- In Ossetian mythology, the ruler of the underworld who assigns arriving dead souls to either paradise or his own realm is Barastyr.
- In Greek mythology, while Hades is the Lord of the Underworld, Thanatos (meaning “death”) is the one accompanying the dying and dead souls to the Underworld.
IMPORTANCE OF UNDERWORLD DEITIES
- In religion, the gods of death, who are necessary for maintaining the balance of the world, are often overlooked by those who favour life.
- The deities of death have a few specific roles as depicted by different mythologies around the world.
- Some deities collect the dead and deliver them to the underworld.
- Some deities rule the dead.
- Some deities rule the underworld.
- Some who rule the underworld are also gods of great treasures.
- Some cause death/ illness in people.
- Some deities come to warn of impending death.
- Some deities visit the living for different purposes.
- Some deities delay death when worshipped.
EXPANSION OF BELIEFS
- In order to make Halloween less scary for children, the development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time.
- The modern imagery of Halloween comes from many sources which soon evolved into media-wide entertainment.
- Horror films for different audiences were popularized after the hit cult classic Frankenstein (1931) and The Mummy (1932).
- The skull, a reference to Golgotha in the Christian tradition, serves as “a reminder of death and the transitory quality of human life” and has become commonplace in Halloween.
- Trick or Treat soon emerged as the most popular activity during Halloween.
- The word “trick” implies a “threat” to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given.
Halloween Deities Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Halloween Deities across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Halloween Deities worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Halloween Deities. In every occasion around the world, there is always a deity hallowed in their reverence. Halloween also has a few entities that represent this day, mostly comprising of those who live in the underworld. Who are they?
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Underworld Gods
- Grim Reaper
- River of the Underworld
- The Brown Lady
- Modern Characters
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Link will appear as Halloween Deities Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 5, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.