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Representational image. Pixabay

October 23, 2016: People of many countries continue to mark the beginning of the winter season with costumes, gatherings, and sweet treats. Somewhere in between the departure of fall and the arrival of winter, Halloween is celebrated which is considered the night of life, death, celebration, and superstition. Though people gather together and rejoice on the October 31, there are many who are still unaware about some of the basic facts about the night.

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Here are some of the unknown facts about Halloween-Night of the dead!

  • Halloween’s origin is thought to be related to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts lived in the area which is now known as Ireland.
  • They celebrated their New Year on November 1, which marked the end of summer and beginning of the dark, cold winter which was associated with death.

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  • They believed that on October 3, the night before the New Year, the walls between the worlds of the living and dead become blurred. And, ghosts return to earth.

Representational image. Pixabay

  • The morbid fear of Halloween-Samhainophobia still exists. They are afraid of the night or the festival despite knowing that there is nothing to be afraid about.
  • Trick-or-treating was meant to pacify the roaming spirits. It came from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out food to pacify roaming spirits.

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  • One-quarter of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween.

Candies. Pixabay

  • Orange and Black are the colors of the night. Orange is the considered as the color of strength which also symbolizes the harvest of autumn whereas black symbolizes death or evil. These are the two things Halloween stands for.

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi


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At a regional-level meeting in Moscow, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan sided with the Taliban delegation and called on the UN to convene a United Nations donor conference at the earliest to help rebuild the ear-torn Afghanistan.

"It should take place with the understanding that the main burden should be borne by the forces whose military contingents have been present in Afghanistan over the past 20 years," said a joint statement of the Moscow conference.

Voices of concern and criticism were also raised against the United States, which opted not to attend the talks citing 'technical reasons'. The US was criticised for invading Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 and after 20 years, opted to an chaotic withdrawal, which created easy inroads for the Taliban to take control of the country.

It was also highlighted that international aid is the need of the hour for Afghanistan as any instability in the country would have a spillover effect on the regional countries and could threaten regional stability.

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has brought with it looming fears and memories of the '90s, when practices like public stoning, hardline setup and marginalisation of women were normal.

However, the Taliban, under the new government setup, have assured that rights of women will be guaranteed.

"Afghanistan will never allow its soil to be used as a base for anyone to threaten the security of another country," said Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

"Isolating Afghanistan is in no one's interest. The meeting is very important for the stability of the entire region," said Deputy Prime Minister in the Taliban setup, Abdul Salam Hanafi.

The regional powers, including Russia, have maintained that the Taliban are a new reality, calling on them to work towards the formation of an inclusive government with representation from all ethnic groups and political figures.

While the regional powers recognised the need for immediate aid and help for Afghanistan, they have declined to give official recognition to the Taliban government.

"Kremlin recognises Taliban's efforts to try and stabilise the situation in Afghanistan. A new administration is in power now. We note their efforts to stabilise the military and political situation and set up work of the state apparatus," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Moscow conference holds great importance, as it is the most significant international meeting since the Taliban takeover.

However, the Taliban have been given a clear direction to first meet and fulfil the promises they made when they assumed power, which includes rights to women and an ethnically inclusive government. (IANS/JB)

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