The Real True Story of Halloween
There are few who know the entire story of its origins and that is the main reason for this article.
The real true story of Halloween story begins over 2,000 years ago in one area that today comprises the United Kingdom, Ireland, and a section of France where a group of people known as Celts celebrated Samhain on November 1 – their New Year. This celebration also denoted the commencement of Winter with its cold and blackness coupled with the termination of Summer and its warmth and sunshine. The Winter season in their belief was related to death and, most importantly for us, the night before Samhain – the separations between the living and the dead became intermingled.
Crops were burned and animals were sacrificed to their Gods over huge bonfires that were built by their clergy – the Druids. Animal skins and heads were utilized as costumes as their Priests forecast the futures of the individual Celts. The Druid prophecies were looked upon as a source of solace in the coming desolate months of Winter. At the end of the evening of celebration – the Celts lit their small torches, took them home, and used them to light their fires that would last through the entire Winter season. It was on the night of October 31st that they believed the dead might return to damage the community food supply and create havoc. After the Romans conquered the Celtic territories they combined two of their festivals with Samhain. One commemorated those that had passed away and the other was related to a celebration of fruits and trees. The focused fruit of this festival was the apple which explains the custom of ‘bobbing’ for apples to this day.
In the first millennium AD…the Pope of the day, Boniface IV decreed that November 1st would be known as All Saints Day in honor of all martyrs and saints. It is today understood that this designation was an attempt to replace the Celtic celebration with one that was sanctioned by the Church. It is not so well-known that the Mid-English translation of All Saints Day was All-Hallows or All-Hallowmas..??
Moving toward the middle of the 20th century – Halloween found itself in a revived mode due to the baby boom of the 40s and trick-or-treating realized a huge resurgence which helped create a brand new North American tradition. It is estimated that more than $6 Billion is spent annually on this holiday ranking it second in importance of all holidays – only behind Christmas in importance and the all-important….retail revenues.
Traditions play heavily when celebrating Halloween. Those that wear costumes are giving respect to its European and Celtic roots while our Native Americans believe in evil spirits and the descendants of African slaves adhere to the tradition of black magic. The British wear nuts as charms to ward off the Devil who was believed to be a nut gatherer and the Welsh believed that if you sneezed on that day you blew your soul out of your body. We must not forget the belief that children born on this day can visualize and carry on conversations with a wide variety of supernatural beings.
In closing it deserves to be noted that our celebration of Halloween has invented new traditions in costuming and donations of money. The costumes are showing a resurgence of traditional types known as vintage plus those of movie stars, pop art performers, athletes and politicians. It appears as if the door-to-door approach is becoming the venue of younger children who are accompanied by one parent, at minimum. The older youths tend to gravitate to house parties or costume parties where prizes reward them for their costuming efforts.
This is the real true story of Halloween as it has been written in many, many publications that are found online or in your local public library. I trust that I have done a credible job in assembling it for you and that it is easily understandable for everyone.
Your curiosity has been peaked? Then you should follow the trail to a much more complete history of this fabulous Holiday. If you touch here… The Story Of Halloween …the magic of technology will ‘zoom’ you to that special place.
Related Halloween Articles
- Halloween and It’s Ancient Origins - The ancient origins of the Halloween custom originates from 2,000 years ago, from a sacred Celtic festival called Samhain. Samhain was an important festival in Celtic culture, celebrating the end of a year, and representing the final harvest for farmers. Since Samhain signified the end of a year, Celts also associated it with human death.
- The Origins of Halloween - The grand American Tradition of Halloween has its roots in the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain. Samhain later was incorporated into Christian tradition as All Hallows Eve. Be Sociable, Share! Tweet
- Samhain – The Celtic Festival That Gave Us Halloween - Halloween has roots in the Celtic celebration Samhain (SOW-in). Samhain means “End of Summer” and is often referred to as the Celtic New Year. It is the start of the dark winter half of the year, as opposed to Beltane (occurring on May 1) which is the light summer half of the Be Sociable, Share!
- Halloween Tradition Past and Future - I like tradition as well as anyone you know, but some traditions need to be re-examined. The big question here is: Why do we continue to celebrate Halloween? It would seem to me that we are breaking one of my newest rules for my life. I refuse to do anything today if the
- Halloween Started Out As a Pagan Celebration - Have you ever thought about or done any research as to what Halloween actually started out as? Where in the world the current customs of carving pumpkins into Jack-’o-Lanterns and Trick-or-Treating and wearing costumes that can be either funny or scary or just plain cute came from? Be Sociable, Share!