Discover The Origin of Halloween
Why do we have a day that is supposed to do nothing but scare the dickens out of us? Why do we dress up like ghosts and goblins? These questions can be answered by looking back at the origin of Halloween.
Over 2,000 years ago, the Celtics were a proud, fierce and combative tribe which inhabited Ireland, the northern areas of France, and the United Kingdom. Their new year started on November 1st. The beginning of November marked the end of warm weather and the growing season.
As the hours of darkness prevailed, much of the time was spent spinning yarns and retelling stories which had been passed from generation to generation. One of the beliefs that had been passed down was the belief that the dead returned on the night before the beginning of the New Year; October 31st. It was believed on this night they returned to avenge the wrong deeds done to them and to bring forecast of the events to occur in the New Year.
Eventually over a period of time, October 31st became known as “SamHain.” In order to mark this day, the Celts had a monstrous bonfire in their villages. Each of the villagers came to the bonfire, disguised in different animal skins. The celebration was a way of showing thanks to the Celtic gods for the harvest and good things of the year past.
Christianity began to spread and entered the land of the Celts. Around 800 A.D., Pope Bonaface IV declared November 1st “All Saint’s Day,” which coincided with the Celtic pagan holiday of the beginning of the New Year. The night before All Saint’s Day, SamHain to the Celts, was now called “All Hallow’s Eve” or “All Hallow’s Mass.”
As the centuries passed and cultures were absorbed by other cultures, the origins of Halloween became known as Halloween night.