Harry Potter

Why was Halloween so important to Harry Potter?

The day Harry’s parents died

This was the date everything changed, when Lord Voldemort broke into Godric’s Hollow and cruelly murdered Harry’s parents on October 31, 1981. This date would go down in legend in two very different ways, for while Harry lost his parents and plunged into a miserable life at the Dursleys, the rest of the wizarding world celebrated their newfound peace, with Lord Voldemort mysteriously and temporarily vanquished. We see the date once and for all in the emotional scene where Harry visits the graves of his parents.

The day Harry, Ron and Hermione became a trio

In a very different Hallowe’en, a decade later and just a few months after Harry had begun his new wizarding life at Hogwarts, he experienced a much more traditional night of festivities. Very well, traditional for a wizard, at least. First there was the glorious Hogwarts Halloween party, complete with live bats, giant pumpkins, and a troll in the dungeons. The only problem? That last part wasn’t supposed to be a Halloween decoration.

But the scary scene in which Harry, Ron, and Hermione were involved in a fight against an unleashed troll turned out to be another very important moment in Harry’s life. Not because knocking out a troll in your first year is cool, but because it was the day that Hermione joined Ron and Harry’s friendship group, and formed one of the most iconic trios to ever exist – in our humble opinion. Despite the unusual circumstances, Harry and Ron (who had insulted Hermione in typical Ron fashion) saved Hermione’s life, thus merging a legendary friendship, not to mention getting Ron off the hook.

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The day the Chamber of Secrets was opened again

Harry’s second year at Hogwarts promised an even more Hallowe’en-ish Hallowe’en. First, there was the fact that he was able to go to a real ghost party, celebrating Nearly Headless Nick’s Death Day. But if the buffet of moldy cheese, maggot haggis, and a tombstone cake weren’t scary enough, the rest of Harry’s night was absolutely petrifying. No, literally Petrifying. Taunted by a disturbing voice within the walls of Hogwarts, Harry left Nick’s party and arrived on the scene of something that would affect the entire school year: the opening of the Chamber of Secrets. While ‘ENEMIES OF THE HEIR BEWARE’ wasn’t horrific enough, there was also the shocking sight of Argus Filch’s cat, horribly frozen and hanging by its tail. Though Harry didn’t know it yet, it was another October 31st punctured by Lord Voldemort’s presence. That guy had a talent for sticking to a particular date, right?

The day Sirius Black broke into Hogwarts

For Harry’s third year, surely the poor boy had to go to a quiet Hallowe’en. It turned out not. In Prisoner of Azkaban, a new threat pursued Harry in the form of Azkaban convict Sirius Black. And luckily, the events of Sirius’ breakout reached an apex in the dying embers of October, when an unfortunate security slipup led to Sirius breaking into Hogwarts castle, which was notoriously secure.

After leaving ominous marks on the Fat Lady’s portrait of Gryffindor house, Hogwarts was officially plunged into a very dark Halloween night. It turned out that Sirius Black wasn’t so scary after all. The fact that a dangerous Death Eater had been able to live on the Hogwarts grounds as a rat for three years, however, was bad enough.

The day Harry was chosen to be champion of the Triwizard

The last time we heard of Hallowe’en in the books came in Harry’s fourth year, and it’s, again, a particularly memorable one. Full of excitement for the upcoming Triwizard Tournament, this day was going to be a fun and relaxed day for Harry, where he was able to watch the selection of the three school champions as a humble observer. Finally, a year in which he was not the center of attention! Or so it was for about five minutes before Harry found his name rising from the goblet of fire itself. The prospect of a series of life-threatening tasks, as well as the ridicule of the entire school by the people who thought he was a chancellor cheating on the cup? We can’t imagine anything more terrifying for a teenager.

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But one more thing…

It is curious that the Deathly Hallows also share half of their name with Hallowe’en. In the wizarding world, ‘Hallows’ are known as three enchanted and enormously powerful objects that can be brought together to ‘conquer Death’. At one time or another, Harry has temporarily possessed all three. Seeing as the Muggle holiday celebrates the supernatural and the unknown, how fitting that the holy hallows are named after such a familiar name, and that Harry Potter of all people is so intimately connected to both. Creepy.

 

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