A Brief History of Halloween
Published on October 28, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 1185

Halloween is one of the world’s oldest holidays.  The yearly celebration is observed in many countries on October 31st to honor the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day.  All Hallow's Eve or Halloween (as it was called in 1745) originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain over two thousand years ago.  The Celts New Year was November 1st and they celebrated it with what is called the Samhain festival.  The Celts lived in areas of the United Kingdom and Northern France.  The end of their year signaled the end of summer and the end of the harvest season, it also signaled the beginning of a long, hard winter.  Since harsh winters often caused death to people and animals, this time of year signified death to the Pagan Celtics. This is when the Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.  Many believed the night before Samhain was a time when the boundary lines between the living and dead became blurred.

In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; this holiday incorporated traditions from the Samhain festival.  It then became known as All Hallows Eve in 1556 and later became known as Halloween.  Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular community based event characterized by child friendly activities such as trick-or-treating.