Halloween History & Origin – Each year, on October 31st people all over the world extravagantly celebrates the occasion of Halloween. It is a secular festival which is also referred to as All Hallows’ Day and All Saints Day. The Halloween festival is associated with a lot of customs, traditions and exciting rituals. Go through our article and learn some fascinating information about history and origin of Halloween, including its celebration and how it renowned as one of the oldest holidays that still celebrated today with equal zeal and fanfare.
Halloween History, Wiki
The History of Halloween all starts with the Celtic festival that celebrated to mark the end of the harvest season. Samhain which was celebrated on 1st of November was considered to be a time when ancient pagans take stock of supplies and prepare for winter.
These people believed in evil spirits and thought that they get loose on the universe and roam around on the night before November 1 in search of victims and preys. Because the two world overlapped, the deceased spirits could come back to life and cause all manners of havoc such as playing tricks or spreading sickness or damaging their crops.
And thus to frighten away this ghostly figures they painted their faces and wore terrible costumes on the night of October 31, so that they would not harm them as well as their crops & cattle’s. Thereafter in 601 AD, Pope Gregory issued an edict for converting most of the Celtic beliefs and festivals into Christian practices by replacing Samhain as All Hallows eve. Hence people continue to celebrate Halloween that derived from Hallow evening by propitiating the departed souls and spirits.
Halloween Origin Information
The Origin of Halloween can be recounted from the Samhain, the ancient Celtic feast, which dated back to more than 2000 years ago. To mark the end of the harvest and commence cold and darkness, the Celtic people celebrated their New Year on November 1st. It was on 31st of October, they completed their harvest of crops and stored them for the long winter season. On that same night, they celebrated Samhain as they believed that return of dead spirits on living world could cause trouble and damage to their crops.
During the Samhain, people lit bonfires and used the head of vegetables to ward off evils. At the time of the first century, Romans invaded the Celtic territory, who also brought along many of their costumes & traditions. With this, two of the major Roman festivals merged with Samhain.
The first festival was known as Feralia that marked in late October to celebrate the passing of the dead, while the second was Pomona Day which commemorated to honor the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. Through this festival, the tradition of bobbing apple on Halloween came into existence.
The legend is that Pope Boniface IV proclaimed 1st November as All Saints Day, to honor saints and martyrs. Hence the night before the Samhain was known to be All Hallows Eve or Halloween.
Halloween Celebration in USA
Halloween is one of the largest commercial holidays in the United States of America and hence Halloween Celebration in USA is considered to be greatest and amazing one. Today, in the US, the festivity of Halloween is more of a communal celebration rather than just a religious holiday.
On this day, Americans decorate their houses with witches, jack-o-lanterns, and other decorations such as pumpkins, vampires, and spiders. They also make use of orange and purple string light to illuminate their houses & backyards. A popular tradition followed by children on Halloween is trick-o-treaters.
Organizing Halloween party, mainly the masquerade parties are one of the famous trends of the occasion among people of America. Both children and adults wear costumes ghosts, goblins, pirates and princesses and also tell ghostly stories to their partygoers. Americans also enjoy the day by carving out shining jack-o-lanterns out of pumpkins.