In light of the spooky season coming to a close, I thought I’d write a little piece about the history of Halloween.
Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic times, during which they celebrated a festival named “Samhain”. 2,000 years ago was around the time that the Celts lived and they resided mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and Northern France. Their “New Year” was celebrated on October 1st.
This day was symbolic of the ending of summer and the harvest and the start of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with death. The Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31st, the Samhain was celebrated, and this is when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead had returned to earth.
As well as causing trouble and destructing crops, the Celts believed that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, (Celtic priests), to make predictions about the future. The Celts were incredibly reliant on the natural world, so, these prophecies were a crucial source of comfort during the long, dark winter.
To commemorate this event, Druids built grandeous sacred bonfires, in which the people gathered to burn crops and sacrifice animals to the Celtic deities. During this celebration, the Celts wore costumes, usually consisting of animal skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes.
At the end of the celebration, they, once again, lit their hearth fires, which had been extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.
Halloween, as we know it now, is an abbreviation of “All Hallows’ Eve” a holiday observed on October 31, the evening before All Saints’ (or All Hallows’) Day. The celebration, today, marks the day before the Western Christian feast of All Saints and initiates the season of Allhallowtide, which lasts three days and ends with All Soul’s Day. In much of Europe and most of America observance of Halloween is largely non-religious, and simply a holiday to dress up as traditionally “scary” characters, like these:
So there you have it ! A history of Halloween ! If you’re looking for something particularly spooky to read this Halloween, why not check out Ricky Dale’s “I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock N Roll!” – The true story of paranormal experiences that occurred in Ricky’s old home !
Do you celebrate Halloween? If so; what did you do this year! We’d love to hear it!
Comment below !
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