Every year, on October 31st, comes the holiday of Halloween. Some may celebrate it, while others don’t. Some may go all out and decorate their homes, while others will treat it like any other day. Growing up, I think I looked forward to the costumes than I did trick or treating. And now, as an adult and a parent, I definitely enjoy decorating for Halloween. I don’t go all out because it’s not a major holiday for us, but I do like to carve pumpkins and hand out candy. When I had my old site, I always had holiday pages up and one section was dedicated especially to the history and legends of Halloween. I want to bring a bit of that back and talk about the origins of Halloween.
The history of Halloween dates back to October 31st, which is the last day of Celtic calendar. It was formerly considered as a pagan holiday, and was celebrated to honor the dead. Halloween was originally known as “All Hallows Eve” and it dates back to more than 2000 years back. “All Hallows Eve” is the eve before All Saints Day, which the Christians created to convert the pagans. It is celebrated on the first day of November.
There are many versions stories related to the origin of Halloween. Though different cultures view the occasion in a different way, the main practice and culture remains the same throughout. The culture of Halloween dates back to the era of the Druids, a Celtic culture established in Britain, Ireland, and Northern Europe. Its roots mainly lay in the feast of Samhain (pronounced Sow-in), which was celebrated annually on the 31st of October. Samhain implies the end of summer or November. Samhain was celebrated as a harvest festival with several huge sacred bonfires, which marks the end of one Celtic year and the beginning another.
It was the firm belief of the Celts that the souls of dead, wandered the villages and streets at night. As all the spirits were considered to be friendly and harmless, people tried to pacify them with gifts and treats so that the next year’s crops would be in abundant. This custom later evolved into the trick-or-treating of Halloween.
Later on, the Romans invaded Ireland and the other Celtic regions, and they added their own twist into what we now know as Halloween; subsquently the history of Halloween was changed a bit. They added a couple things into Samhain. First, they added a day called Faralia – which was a day the Romans had set aside as a day to remember and honor those who had died before us. Then, they also included a day to please Pomona – a goddess whose symbol is the apple. Remember those days of bobbing for apples as a kid? You can thank Pomona for that tradition.
Then, Christianity came to the area – around the 800s. The Pope at the time – Pope Bonaface – declared November 1st All Saint’s Day, which is still celebrated as a Holy Day by the Catholic Church. The Church often times tried to replace pagan holidays with related holidays in order to appease the pagan people who wanted festivals, but also to make Christian-based celebrations. The night before All Saint’s Day, Samhain to the Celts, began to be called All Hallow’s Eve or All Hallow’s Mass.
Finally, it became known as Halloween.
This post is part of the Pinterest Party group Halloween Blog Hop. The other posts in the hop are listed below:
1 Paula Atwell Gothic Lolita Dresses and Accessories
2 Kristen Carrasco Pumpkin Spice Truffles
3 Megan Burgess Chamberlin 3 Easy “Funkin” Pumpkin Makeovers
4 Corrinna Johnson Creepy Spider Ice Cream Sandwiches For Halloween
5 Sylvia Mayfield Helpful Halloween Safety Tips With A Fun Halloween Quiz To Take
6 Jamie Dick Yonash Costume Ideas for Sisters
7 Katy Mitchell Pumpkin Cheesecake
8 Kori Tomelden – The Origins of Halloween
9 Anjanette Young Homemade Halloween Treat Bags
10 Linette Gerlach Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Recipe- Dairy Free
11 Tracey Jade Boyer Graveyard Cake – The Perfect Finger Food!
12 Ashleigh Walls DIY Halloween Craft Ghost Button Decor
13 Katy Mitchell Halloween Themed Shirts
14 Paula Atwell Harley Quinn Cosplay Costumes