Halloween, also known as Allhalloween, All Hallow’s Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celtic festival, celebrated by the Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, was mainly celebrated in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France. They would celebrate their new year on November 1 because it was the period that the cold, dark winter would start. The mood of this period of time in the year was associated with human death.
The Celts thought that on the night before New Year, the barrier of worlds of the dead and the living became hazy. Hence, on the night of October 31, the Celts celebrated Samhain, believing that the ghosts of the dead returned back to earth. They believed that the ghosts would destroy corps. On that day, the Celts thought that the priests could predict the hidden future with ease.
The people would crucially depend on those predictions; they were their source of convenience during the cold, dark winter. During that time, huge bonfires were made; corps and animals were burnt as sacrifices. The Celts would essentially wear animal costumes for the day. At the end of the celebration, they would reignite the bonfire to protect them from the winter.
Candies were one of the most popular traditions done in Halloween. People would leave treats and candles along the side of the road leading to their doorsteps to guide their loved ones in finding their way back to the spirit world. Present-day, in Halloween, it is most common to find small, young kids wearing cute, little costumes; like princesses, animals, super heroes, fruits, and others. Halloween is not a scary event anymore, like the Celts had experience it. Currently, it is essential to make scary lanterns and decorations to experience the real scary essence of Halloween as the Celts had.
Happy Samhain !!!
By Rozaline Beshay
- History.com Staff. “History of Halloween.” History.com. A E Networks, 2009. Web. 29 Oct. 2016.
- “Celts & Halloween!!” Councillorpadraigmcshane.wordpress.com. N.p., 31 Oct. 2012. Web. 29 Oct. 2016.