Halloween. The annual holiday celebrated on October 31. Remember how we used to get all excited about it when we were little kids. Dress up as monsters, or ghosts. Then go to houses for trick-or-treating and collect candies from adults. Now that people are starting to play more video games increasingly, there are in-game sales; the games adopt a Halloween theme. Events are also organized throughout the world. In different parts of the world, the name may differ, but every translator will tell you that they all mean the same.
Regardless, Halloween is a fun holiday; even grown-ups take part in the activities. We’ve been celebrating our whole lives. Did you ever wonder about how it started? Curious, aren’t we? Time for some history lessons.
The origins of Halloween date back to an ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. They lived 2000 years ago in the area that is now known as Ireland, UK, and Northern France. For them, their New Year started on our November 1.
On this day summer came to an end and was the start of the cold and dark winters. These people believed that on this particular day, the boundary between the living world and death greatly weakened. So, the Celts celebrated Samhain on the night of October 31, when it was believed that the ghosts had returned to the living world. They made a huge bonfire, danced around it and sacrificed animals and crops to it.
Till the 43 A.D., most of the Celtic territories were conquered by the Roman Empire. Two of their festivals were combined with the festival of Samhain.
The first was the Feralia (passing of the dead) and the second, the day to honor Pomona (Roman goddess of fruit and trees), symbol apples. This explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples on Halloween. If you want to spend your Halloween in Ireland, try for a translator agency, learning different languages is hard.
All Saints Day
On May 13, 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs. The Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established. Pope Gregory III expanded the festival afterward, making it for all martyrs and all saints. The date was moved from May 13 to November 1.
By the 9th century, Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, blending and altering older Celtic rites. In 1000 A.D. November 2 was made All Souls Day honor the dead. This was an attempt to replace the Celtic festival with the Church-sanctioned one. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain. The All Saints Day (Nov 1) was also called All-hallows or All-Hallowmas. Then they started calling it All-Hallows Eve and eventually came our version the Halloween.
Happy Halloween America
This celebration was very limited in colonial New England. It was much more popular in Maryland and southern colonies.
In the 19th century, countless immigrants flooded America, mostly Irish fleeing from the Potato Famine in millions. They then popularized the celebration of Halloween.
Trick or treat
From these traditions and taking in the situation of the country, people began dressing up in costumes and went to houses to ask for food or money. This them as you may have guessed became our “trick-or-treat” tradition.
Young women believe that on this day they could divine the meeting of their future husband from certain activities.