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Halloween Witch: Here are five facts about witches and Halloween

The following are five facts about the witch religion of Wicca and Halloween, known as the Wiccan New Year of Samhain:

IBNLive.com

Updated:October 31, 2013, 10:43 AM IST
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Halloween Witch: Here are five facts about witches and Halloween
The following are five facts about the witch religion of Wicca and Halloween, known as the Wiccan New Year of Samhain:
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New Delhi: Celebrating Halloween today, Google posted a doodle on its homepage that features a witch practising witchcraft. To make you understand the Halloween Witch doodle in a better way, we bring you some facts about the event, which is celebrated every year on October 31 in a number of countries around the world. The following are five facts about the witch religion of Wicca and Halloween, known as the Wiccan New Year of Samhain:

1. The word "witchcraft" has three main connotations: the practice of magic or sorcery; the beliefs associated with the Western witch-hunts of the 14th to the 18th century; and varieties of the modern movement called Wicca.

2. Wicca was first publicised in 1954 by a British civil servant named Gerald Gardner who said the religion dated to an old witch cult that existed in secret for hundreds of years, originating in the pre-Christian Paganism of Europe.

3. Wicca is recognized as an official religion in the United States. It is a primarily Western movement of nature worship based on pre-Christian traditions.

4. In the United States, there are between 2,50,000 and 5,00,000 followers of the Wiccan witch religion, which honors the "Elements of Nature" - Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit - and their associated directions - North, East, South, West, Center - in "sacred circles" where rituals are held.

5. The Wiccan New Year of Samhain is considered a precursor to modern Halloween. Today, it coincides with Halloween on October 31. Historically, it was a Celtic festival held on November 1 where the world of the gods was believed to be made visible to mankind. Modern witches say it is a time of year when the "veil between the dead and the living is thin."

(With inputs from Reuters)

(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
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