History of Halloween goes back to the very old ages. People wear several Halloween costumes, children knock on neighbors doors, pumpkins are carved on Halloween. But where are these Halloween traditions coming from?
The origin of the word ‘Halloween’ comes from Old English, meaning ‘All Hallows Eve’. History of Halloween begins 2000 years ago, Halloween was a Celtic feast, called Samhain. 1st of November was the beginning of the year in their tradition, and so they celebrated the 31st of October as a kind of New Year’s Eve.
Celts believed that, on the new year’s eve the ghosts of the dead returned to our world and helped the prophets to tell about future. They needed these prophecies on the oncoming dark, cold winter nights. On Samhain festival, they sacrified animals and crops to their gods. They built huge bonfires to burn their offerings for the gods. Therefore the gods would have protect them in the winter time.
During the festival, they worn special costumes and masks. Fortune telling was also a part of Samhain as the ghosts of dead were giving them this skill.
After years, this festival was combined with Roman festivals when the Romans conquered their lands. Romans had also a festival for the memory of the dead. And another festival for their goddess of fruit, Pomona. Bobbing for apples on the festival for Pomona had become another tradition of Celtic Halloween.
When the Christianity was spread on Celtic lands, Christian influences were also added to Halloween. When Pope Boniface IV designated the 1st of November as “All Saints Day”, all mixed up to generate what we celebrate as ‘Halloween’ today.
So, 31st of October is for the dead of Celts, goddess of Romans, and the saints of Christianity. We celebrate all of them together on Halloween. The long history of Halloween and all these Halloween traditions reflect different cultures and ages.
ENJOY THE LAST DAY OF SUMMER AS OUR CELTIC ANCESTORS DID!