The origins of Halloween

By Joy C. Harrison

Halloween is a very popular holiday for young and old alike. It is second to only Christmas! It is a holiday that is steeped in a truly fascinating history and folklore. So, where did this holiday come from? What is the origin of Halloween?

All Hallows Eve was originally a pagan holiday to honor the dead and has been in existence in some form or another for over 2,000 years. It can be traced back to the Druids, a Celtic culture in England and Ireland.

Halloween takes place on October 31, which is the last day of the Celtic calendar. The roots of the holiday lay in the feast of Samhain. Samhain would signify the end of the summer and the beginning of the new Celtic year. It was a large harvest festival that had many ceremonial rites that were mostly steeped in superstition.

The Celtics thought that the souls of the dead would roam the streets of the villages at night. Knowing that not all of these spirits were friendly, they started leaving out gifts and treats to pacify the evil spirits. They felt that if the spirits were appeased then the following years crops would be plentiful. This is the custom that evolved into today’s trick or treating.

Halloween, as we know it today, is derived from mostly Old English era traditions. This includes the carving of jack ‘o lanterns and bobbing for apples. Regardless of your traditions, Halloween can be great fun to be shared with family and friends.

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Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?What-Is-the-Origin-of-Halloween?&id=5026304] What Is the Origin of Halloween?

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