History of Halloween

No top 5’s for today, just a history recap. The origins of October’s upcoming holiday date back more than 2,000 years. Ancient Celts celebrated their New Year’s Day, called Samhain, on November 1. The Celts believed spirits walked the earth on the eve of this holiday and would build bonfires and wear costumes to ward them off.

In 40 A.D. the Romans conquered the Celts. At this time, two Roman festivals may have combined with Samhain: Parentalia, a nine day festival honoring spirits of the dead and a festival honoring Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees. Since the Romans used a different calendar than the Celts, the new year aspect of Halloween was supposedly lost at this time.

 In the 800’s A.D. the Catholic Church replaced Samhain with All Saints’ Day or All Hallows Day. All Hallows Eve continued to be celebrated with the traditional costumes and bonfires of Samhain. Later the Catholic Church made November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day in honor of the dead.

In the nineteenth century All Hallows Eve or Halloween began to lose its religious connections and became an increasingly secular holiday. Hope you enjoy your Halloween this year, however you choose to celebrate!


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