Halloween 2020 occurs on Saturday, October 31. It’s a good time of the year to brush up your Halloween facts. Halloween’s history takes us to the most ancient of times of all holidays in the American calendar.
It’s origins go back to ancient Celtic festival, Samhain when People wore costumes and would light up bonfires to ward off ghosts and spirits.
Pope Gregory III decided in the 8th century that the day November 1st would be dedicated to honor all saints. All Saints day soon started to inculcate the traditions of Samhain partially. The evening before All Saints Day was known as All Hallows Eve.
It later was shortened to being called Halloween.
Today Halloween is celebrated all around the world with families and friends indulging in a variety of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, donning costumes, festive gatherings and eating treats.
The origins of halloween can be dated back to Celts, who lived 2000 years ago. The area now is mostly Ireland, UK and Northern France. The Celts celebrated their New Year’s on November 1st. It marked the end of Summer and Harvest season and the beginning of a dark, cold winter which was often associated with death because of the harsh climate and other beliefs.
The Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, the boundaries between the world of the living and the dead blurred and the ghosts of the dead returned back to the earth.
The damage to the crops which was mostly related to the change in season was associated with the belief that the spirits damaged the crops.
The Celts also believed that the Celtic Priests gained abilities to predict the future because of the presence of otherworldly spirits. Though it sounds inaccurate now, for a people who were entirely dependant on the natural world for survival, the prophies provided an important source of comfort for the coming long, cold winter.
The Celtic Priests would light up huge bonfires to begin the event. People would offer animals as sacrifices and burn crops near the bonfire.
During the celebrations, the Celts would wear costumes which mostly consisted of animals heads and skins which can be considered very different to the costumes we wear today for halloween.
They also attempted to tell each other’s fortunes as a fun activity. The extinguished bonfires are relit the next day to protect them from the coming winter.