The History of Halloween

337357_2176427089965_32935573_oHalloween History & Origin

Halloween is the one of the oldest holidays still celebrated today. It’s one of the most popular holidays, second only to Christmas. While millions of people celebrate Halloween without knowing its origins and myths, the history and facts of Halloween make the holiday more fascinating.

Some people view Halloween as a time for fun, putting on costumes, trick-or-treating, and having theme parties. Others view it as a time of superstitions, ghosts, goblins and evil spirits that should be avoided at all costs.

As the Christian debate goes on, celebrating Halloween is a preference that is not always viewed as participating in an evil holiday. Halloween is often celebrated with no reference to pagan rituals or the occult.

Halloween History

Halloween is on October 31st, the last day of the Celtic calendar. It was originally a pagan holiday, honoring the dead. Halloween was referred to as All Hallows Eve, which means “Holy Evening”, and dates back to over 2000 years ago.

While there are many versions of the origins and old customs of Halloween, some remain consistent by all accounts. Different cultures view Halloween somewhat differently but traditional Halloween practices remain the same.

Halloween culture can be traced back to the Druids, a Celtic culture in Ireland, Britain and Northern Europe. Roots lay in the feast of Samhain (Druids’ God), which was annually on October 31st, with the intention to free the spirit of the dead so they could revisit their homes, and huge sacred bonfires together with frightening costumes to scare away the evil spirits. The Druids left offerings for their ancestors and other good spirits, and prayed for their safe return. Samhain signifies “summers end” or November. Samhain was a harvest festival marking the end of the Celtic year and beginning of a new one. Many of the practices involved in this celebration were fed on superstition.

As Christianity established itself, the Pagan ritual became a Christian tradition, but the Christians accepted only one God, and Samhain disappeared along with the origins of the festival. However, the tradition of large fires and of dressing in scary costumes carried on.

These days, Halloween is seen as just a bit of light-hearted fun. Happy Halloween!

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