Halloween is here again! But before going ahead, What is Halloween? Where, when and how did Halloween originate or start and in which country? What is the link between Halloween and Christianity? Is Halloween a Christian holiday? Celebrating this big day can be great fun but knowing its origin will make it more interesting. Of course you would not mind feeling like a Halloween geek. Would you? Now you are a Halloween geek in the making. Read on to start your journey!
What is the Origin of Halloween? How did Halloween Start?
How did Halloween came into being? How did this festival start?
The origins and customs of Halloween are centered around Samhain ( pronounced sow-in or sah-win). Samhain was a Celtic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the starting of winter. To the Celts, Samhain signified “summers end” or November. Summer and the harvest ended at this particular day. It Marked the start of cold, dark winter, which was a period of the year every so often linked to death of human beings.
According to historians, this is why Celtic pagans, known by the name Druids, believed that the souls or spirits of those who had died the previous years returned during this time. The returning spirits who were either good or bad were thought to roam the villages and streets at the Samhain night.
This holiday was celebrated with huge sacred bonfires aimed to replace light from the sun that was disappearing. The Druids danced around bonfires as a means to scare away the evil or the bad spirits. While dancing and around the fire they left their doors open. Why did they leave their doors open? It is believed that in doing so, the good or friendly souls of the loved ones were offered an opportunity to bond with them around their homes.
It is during this particular night that divination was possibly more successful than any other time; so schemes were derived to determine who was likely to die, who could marry, who could possibly rise to prominence, what great person was likely be born etc. Superstition fueled majority of the practices involved in this festival.
Other prominent activities that were observed in this celebration include wearing of costumes. The costumes the Celts wore characteristically consisted of animal skins and heads. Individuals made a point to tell off their fortunes to each other.
Animals were sacrificed while crops we burnt. If the souls were not entertained by the living, their next plan of action was to find a body to keep for the arriving year and it is specifically why dressing up like ghosts, witches,and goblins was a common practice: it was a means to stay away from being possessed by the evil spirits.
Further, treats and gifts were left out to appease the bad spirits and to make sure the subsequent year’s crops would be abundant. It is from this practice of leaving out treats and gifts that trick-or-treating was developed out of.
Later, 43 AD the Romans took over most of Celtic territory. What followed was an introduction of 2 Roman celebrations
- The commemoration of the passing of the dead (Feralia)
- Day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruits and trees. The fruit that represented Ponoma was the apple. The Celts are said to have incorporated the same fruit in the ritual named” bobbing for apples”
What is Halloween? Meaning/Definition
What is the meaning of the term Halloween? How did the name originate? You already understand how Halloween started. How can one describe or define the name Halloween today? The name Halloween or Hallowe’en is a shortened form of the phrase ” All Hallows evening”. At times referred to as Hallowe’en, All Hallows Eve or all Saints’ Eve, Halloween is an annual celebration noted in the night of October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It initiates the triduum of Hallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers [wikipedia]
According the Wikipedia, the word Halloween dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin. The word “Halloween” means “hallowed evening” or “holy evening”. It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows’ Eve (the evening before All Hallows’ Day)
In terms of definition, Halloween is a noun and it is defined as the night of October 31, popularly celebrated by kids who dress in costume and go trick or treating (soliciting candy or any other treats door-to-door).
Despite the fact that there are several editions of the Halloween origin and customs, some have remained unswerving by all means. Various cultures perceive this day differently but keen observation has revealed that the traditional Halloween customs are never different: The practices have remained the same.
When &Where did Halloween Originate ? What Country did Halloween originate from?
Well, already know how Halloween started and its meaning or definition. When did Halloween originate? Where did Halloween originate and from what country?
No one seems to have clear answer to this. Some folks claim Halloween started and it was made in the medieval times, to scare off the devil…Other sources(history.com) claim that Halloween originated in Ireland 2,000 years ago.
Where was the place of Origin? Halloween origin or culture can be traced back to the Druids, a Celtic culture in the countries of Ireland, Britain and Northern Europe. Roots lay in the Samhain festival, which was annually on October 31st. According to the Celtic calendar, it was the last day of the year, a special day to honor the dead. The druids believed that the souls of the departed would be available, probably roaming in the streets.
Halloween and Christianity – Is Halloween a Christian Holiday
How is Halloween and Christianity related? Is Halloween a christian holiday? Is there any Christian influence on Halloween?
Halloween and Christianity
October 31’s Halloween celebration occurs on the evening just before two Christian holy days which include All Hallows’ Day (also referred to as Hallowmas in old English or All Saints’) on the first of November and All Souls’ Day on the second of November.
It is from these two holy days the complete name of All Hallows’ Eve is derived. All Hallows’ Eve in this case means the evening beforehand All Hallows’ Day. Just like All Hallows’, main feasts (Easter, Christmas and Pentecost) of the ancient church have vigils which start the night before. Halloween, All Saints and All Souls day are collectively called Allhallowtide. Allhallowtide is a period for commemorating the saints and carrying out prayers for souls who deceased in the recent past and who are yet to arrive at heaven. Later, the term All Hallows Eve contracted to “Hallow-e’en,” which finally became “Halloween.” The Wikipedia has detailed information on the origin of Halloween and Christianity influence.
Is Halloween a Christian Holiday?
Despite the fact that Halloween falls on October 31st, which some Christians consider to be the All Saints eve celebration, some Christians do not take it as a christian holiday. Halloween celebration of today isn’t generally viewed as a Christian worship time. Why? Halloween is said have some elements that lack christian religious meaning. Some activities of October 31 may be considered anti-christian. For instance, those who regard themselves as pure Christians wouldn’t want to associate themselves with demonic activities. However for kids it is not such demonic or evil day…It is simply time to have fun, candy and get scared.
For some individuals, October 31 has religious implication to some extent. Such people include the druids and wiccans.
History of Halloween Origin in America.
What does history say about the origin of Halloween in America? The history of Halloween in the United States is attributed to European immigrants who brought their different Halloween customs with them.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, new immigrants including the Irish fleeing from the potato famine in Ireland in 1846 arrived in America in large numbers. The “trick-or-treat” by the Americans was actually a combination of Irish and English Halloween traditions. In the later 1800’s the holiday became more community oriented and in the 1920’s and 1930’s, Halloween became “a secular, but community-centered holiday”. In the 1950’s Halloween was declared a holiday focused at the young to limit vandalism. This all led to the modern Halloween in the United States of America.
More on Halloween Origin & Facts
- Why do we Celebrate Halloween? What Countries, Christians Celebrate Halloween?
- Facts about Halloween-Fun, Interesting, History Halloween Facts for Kids & Adults
Healthy & Safe Halloween for Parent, Kids & Pets
- Healthy Halloween Food, Snacks & Candy Ideas + Tips for Kids & Parties.
- Halloween Trick-or-treating, Driving Safety Tips for Parents, Guardians &Adults
- Halloween Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips for Kids-Why Observe Safety Tips
- Homemade Halloween Costume Safety Ideas & Tips for Adults & Kids
- Halloween Pet Safety Tips, Common Dangers to Pets
Scary, Spooky & Horrifying Halloween
- What is Fear of Halloween? 10 Scary Halloween Facts + Pictures
- Scary Halloween Costumes for Kids-Girls & Boys + Non/Not Scary Ideas
Halloween Fun-Games, Activities Parties and Ideas
- Halloween Games for Teens, Activities for Kids, Fun, Craft, Decorations, Party Games + Ideas
- Halloween Math, Party Activities for Kids Toddlers, Preschoolers & Adults
- Halloween Games for Adults & Christians-Fun Party Games & Activities + Ideas