Apokries is the time when most Greeks masquerade, however the expat community and influence of Hollywood horror films has resulted in the holiday slowly entering the Greek psyche with school dress-ups, parties, car-boot Halloween events and even a Halloween corner at Psyrri in front of Little Kook Cafe.
Halloween itself came into being from All Hallow’s Eve, a celebration that is observed throughout the world in some form or other though there is controversy regarding the origins of the holiday.
Some say that there are pagan roots to the event as is the case with many Christian festivals that were somehow bridged over from pagan traditions.
READ MORE: Apokries: the Bacchic celebration in Greece
The Ancient Greeks believed that people who died went to the banks of the River Styx, which was the boundary between Earth and the Underworld. They were carried over by Charon (Death) the ferryman, who transported them across the river to Hades.
Those who lived a virtuous life went to Elysium, a paradise, and they were able to also return to the world of the living for one day per year.
Christianity’s conversion of this myth stated that the good would become saints, and All Saints Day (for “hallowed ones”) was set on 1 November and the first Friday after the feast of the Holy Pentecost for Greek Orthodox Christians, a day of prayer so that evil spirits would leave them. From there All Hallowed Eve became known as Halloween.
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