Where Did Halloween Come From?
Halloween originated from an ancient harvest festival. Over 2,000 years ago, the Celts celebrated a Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced “sow-in”).
Samhain signified the end of the summer and the beginning of winter. The Celts celebrated Samhain to make their gods happy so that the gods would protect them and their crops during the long and hard winter. Celts also celebrated New Year’s Day on November 1. They believed that the night before the New Year (October 31) was a time when the spirits visited the Earth. The Celts were worried that the evil spirits would cause them harm and damage their crops.
Also read, What Is Halloween & Why Do We Celebrate It?
Traditions Of The Ancient Celts
The Celts lit huge bonfires to keep unwanted spirits away from their homes and villag-es. The bones of dead cattle and sheep were cast into these fires.
The Celts asked their gods to protect cattle and food stores during the long, hard winter. They prepared huge feasts for both the living and the dead. The Celts ate the food that they had collected during the harvest, so the feast would consist of things like: nuts, berries, carrots, apples, and turnips. They also prepared offerings that were left outside villages, for the spirits of the deceased and for other beings such as fairies During the celebration, the Celts enjoyed storytelling around bonfires.
How Halloween Got Its Name
Over one thousand years ago, the Christian church named November 1st as ‘All Saints’ Day, also called ‘All Hallows’, which was a traditional English term. This was a holy day to commemorate the saints. The night before All Hallows was named Hallows’ Eve Many years later, the name was changed to Halloween.
Halloween Spreads To The US
During 1845 and the years that followed, over a million people left Ireland due to a famine. As a result, the US had many new Irish im-migrants. These immigrants brought the Celtic traditions of Samhain to the US, which would eventually become Halloween.
The Celtic religion was polytheistic, meaning they worshipped more than one God. In fact, the Celtic religion is thought to have had over 300 gods. The Celts would sacrifice animals to their gods, and they believed in an afterlife.
The Celts were a group of people who spoke Celtic languages. They lived during the Bronze and Iron Age periods. The Celts were spread across Europe, living in areas including France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Spain, Britain, and Ireland.
Dressing Up On Halloween
The Celts also believed that the ghosts would walk among the living on Earth. They were worried that the evil spirits would cause problems. hurt or even kill them. So on Halloween night people wore costumes of ghosts or other wicked creatures. They believed if they dressed in frightening cos-tumes, their disguise would confuse the spirits and they would think they were also dead and not hurt them.
Trick-Or-Treating On Halloween
To keep the ghosts away from their homes, people started keeping bowls of food outside their doors. Over time, people started eating these nice treats themselves. Some say this was the start of trick-or-treating. Some other stories claim that trick-or treating started when people started giving out cakes in return for prayers for their dead relatives.
According to legend, Jack was a very mean person who played tricks on peo-ple. When he died, he was not allowed into heaven or hell. So he had to walk the Earth and he used a hallowed turnip with a light inside it to guide him. This is how “Jack of the Lantern” started, which is now popularly known as “Jack-o’-Lantern”. When the Europeans came to the US, they started using pumpkins instead of turnips to carve their Jack-o’ Lanterns.
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