Halloween isn’t exactly your typical holiday. Other holidays, like Christmas, celebrate an event, whereas Halloween celebrates many things, including the lives of the people who are not with us any longer.
In honor of our Halloween stories section, where we list current, relevant, and trendy Halloween articles for your reading enjoyment, we thought it would be cool to include a history of Halloween article for everyone who’s less familiar with the holiday. The history of Halloween isn’t entirely clear, but this is how everything seems to have shaped up so far.
A Brief History of Halloween
Hundreds of years ago, a group of people called the Celts lived in Europe and the British Isles. These Celts believed the souls of the dead came and visited Earth on the last day of every October. They created a festival in honor of the souls of the dead and called it Samhain.
As time went on, the Romans conquered the Celts, but also adopted some of their beliefs and customs as a result. This included the Samhain. The Romans combined Samhain with their own festivals, and because the Roman Empire maintained influence across the known world, the idea of the dead visiting the Earth on the last day of October was spread from country to country, culture to culture.
The tradition of Halloween persisted and eventually spread to the United States and other Western Countries.
How did we come up with the name “Halloween?”
In the 8th century, November 1st was declared to be All Saints’ Day by the Catholic Church. The church chose November 1st as the day to honor all saints who did not already have a specific day named in their honor.
The mass that the Catholic Church celebrated on November 1st was called Allhallowmas, or All Hallows’ Day. Somewhere along the way, the night before All Hallows’ Day was known as Allhallowe’en, which stood for “night before All Hallows’ Day.” As translations go, it came to America and was developed into the word we all know today as Halloween.
Where do the ghosts, ghouls, and witches come from?
It was common that in Irish cultures pranks and tricks would be played on Halloween. This included putting carts in front of gates, dressing up in costumes, and getting into all sorts of general mischief. Because it was the day the souls of the dead returned to the earthly world, people thought they could remain undetected by fellow ghosts and spirits if they wore masks and costumes to blend in.
Over the years, this evolved into the Halloween as we know it, where we all dress up in seasonal celebration with trick-or-treating and costume contests.
Read on for the trendiest and most recent Halloween articles on the web! If you’re interested in upcoming events, you can also check out our Halloween Events page.