We celebrate Halloween every October on the 31st,but why? Where did it all begin?
The history of it goes back to ancient times.Ancient Celts,would light bonfires & wear costumes in order to ward off the spirits that they believed would return to Earth on this night. The Celtic holiday of Samhain, the Catholic Hallowmas period of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day and the Roman festival of Feralia all influenced the modern holiday of Halloween.The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the “lighter half” of the year and beginning of the “darker half”, and is sometimes regarded as the “Celtic New Year. It was commonly believed by all that in order to appease the spirits offerings of food or wine should be left out.Samhain was a time to take stock of food supplies as well as time to slaughter animals to ensure that there was enough food to get through the long winter.
In Scotland young men dressed in white with masked or blackened faces would impersonate these spirits and go from house to house demanding food and drink.The practice of carving jack’o’lanterns was derived from the Celtic practice of “souling” by hollowing out large turnips and placing a candle inside to represent the soul in purgatory.In America pumpkins were more readily available and easier to carve than a turnip.The common images of Halloween: witches,black cats, ghosts & spiders are merely traditional as the season is often associated with the occult. The colors black and orange are used because they represent the dark of night as well as the color of leaves in autumn and the bon fires of old.
Children go around dressed in costumes asking for treats with a simple question,”trick or treat”. The trick part being merely an idle threat to do mischief to the homeowners house if a treat is not forth coming.The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays dates back to the Middle Ages and includes Christmaswassailing Who would have thought that a holiday that so many equate with evil has common roots with one associated with the birth of Jesus?
Halloween costumes themselves are traditionally modeled after supernatural things like ghosts, skeletons or monsters.More modern themes now include fictional characters (ex: Harry Potter) or generic characters like princesses,gypsies,or ninjas.
Some traditional games and activities for Halloween include; bobbing for apples, telling ghost stories and watching scary movies. Going to a “haunted house” is also a fun way to get spooked on Halloween night.
So this year when you’re planning your parties, don’t forget to include .candy apples, caramel corn,spooky stories,lots of candy and most of all a lot of fun. Happy Halloween everyone.