Halloween: a brief history

It’s October 31st. It means it’s Halloween here in North America. Halloween is a tradition mostly practiced in North America (Canada and the U.S.). Its origins is in the United Kingdom, mostly Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

It’s a combination of the Celtic tradition of Samhain (October 31st), and the Catholic tradition of All Saints Day (November 1st).  It’s also known as All Hallow’s Eve–the night before All Hallow’s Day (All Saints Day).

All Hallow’s Eve is the day when Celtic people believe that the doorway between the spirit world (Otherworld) and the world of the living opens on Samhain (sow-in) and the spirits of their loved ones return to the earth to re-unite with their loved ones for the night.
They believe this because the day represents the end of the ‘lighter’ half of the year and the beginning of the ‘darker’ period of the year. Also, Halloween coincides with All Saint’s Day/All Souls Day, when the Catholic Church celebrates the deceased saints and other religious dead.

Jack O Lantern
 The costume aspect of the celebration appears to have come from the belief that not only good spirits cross over, but bad ones, too. They believe that to ward off bad spirits, they must pretend to be bad spirits to scare them off; hence, they wear costume representing the demons and the dead.

The Harvest festivities were incorporated into Halloween. For example, Jack o Lantern: the pumpkin. In traditional Celtic Halloween festivals, large turnips were hollowed out, carved with faces, and placed in windows to ward off evil spirits. In North America, the turnip was replaced by pumpkins that are more abundant here.

 Trick or treat is what people (children) say when they ring your doorbell at Halloween. The tradition is from Hallowmas (All Saints Day). Poor children used to knock on people’s doors asking for money or food in return for prayers for their loved ones.

About TCDH

Blogger with an opinion.
This entry was posted in History, Pop Culture. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s