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Origin Of Holidays

Halloween


All Hallows or All Saints' Eve is a celebration observed on October 31st, the evening of All Hallows' Day.

It comes from the Celtic holiday of Samhain. Original themes were more about modern ghosts and ghouls than the costumes and candy with which we are most familiar (History.com, n.d.).

The Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead. Over the millennia the holiday transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes, parades and sweet treats for children and adults (Santino, 2009).

The holiday originated with the Celtic people to celebrate and remember the dead loved ones. This observed date was known as Samhain This day always fell around November 1st. Much like many cultures, they observed holidays based on seasonal changes; in this case it was the start of winter when autumn dies. People would sacrifice animals and make offerings of fruits and vegetables. Pits of fire were set ablaze to light the way for the dead to go away and leave in peace.

The Samhain celebration was viewed as offensive to Christian missionaries at the time. To get participants into the fold, it was renamed All Saints' Day which brought remembrance to the dead saints. However, the Samhain would not die off quickly which led to the compromise split to have the celebration the night before the solemn day.

Today, Halloween is celebrated with costumes, exchanging candy, and scary themes of the dead/undead.

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