With Halloween around the corner, how about your excitement level for the celebrations?
Once every year on 31st of October, the night comes alive with carved pumpkins along with many other decorations lighting the porches and gardens of the majority of Americans and Canadians. Their lanes will be crowded with mind-blowing costumes and the doorbells will be busy ringing all throughout the night for Trick-or-Treats. All these wonderful traditions can be seen happening on the eve of “All Hallows’ Day”. Thus, the words “Hallows” and “Eve” had come together to form “Hallows’ Eve” and later on to become “Halloween” commemorating the passing of the dead.
Although Halloween is globally celebrated it seems to be more popular, especially in America and Canada, where it can also be recognised as one of their most anticipated holidays of the year.
This is the state of Halloween at present. But what has been the birth of this celebration and how it has evolved over the years is an interesting piece of history to discover.
The origin of Halloween runs back to the ancient Celts who lived around 1200 B.C. in Europe and believed in Celtic Spiritual Tradition. The Celtic Calendar presented four quarterly festivals;
Imbolc/ Candlemas – February 1st
Beltaine/ May Day – May 1st
Lughnasadh/ Lammas Day – August 1st
Samhain/ Halloween – November 1st
Among these four, Samhain (Summer’s End) is the genesis of Halloween. Later with the blend of Christianity, this day was celebrated as “All Saint’s Day”.
As per the Celtic calendar, 1st of November was said to be the “New Year’s Day” and 31st October was believed the “Death Night of the Old Year”. Therefore, it was considered that the spirits of the dead are connected with the real world on Death Night associating with ghosts, monsters and graveyards as the door linking the Dead and Alive was breakable. They believed that the Dead Spirits were haunting the living during the period of sunset and midnight. This presence of dead spirits was believed to be an avail for the Celtic priests to predict the future. On this day, a herd of cattle which was raised for the meat supply for the dark winter, was slaughtered and their bones were thrown to sacred bonfires (Fire of Bones).
These European traditions traveled with the migrants to America and Canada where Halloween is celebrated in the most magnificent way.
So, for this Halloween, how are you planning to celebrate?