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History of Halloween



Origins and History of Halloween


Halloween Origin


Halloween or Hallowe'en is a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening, also known as (All Hallows' Eve). Halloween is a yearly celebration observed on October 31 in many countries. It is the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints) and the day initiating the triduum of Hallowmas.

According to some scholars, All Hallows' Eve is a Christian based feast originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead, possibly with pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. Other scholars maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and is solely Christian rooted with it's traditions.


In old English the word 'Hallow' meant 'sanctify'. Roman Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherians used to observe All Hallows Day to honor all Saints in heaven, known or unknown. They used to consider it with all solemnity as one of the most significant observances of the Church year. And Catholics, all and sundry, was obliged to attend Mass.


All Hallows Eve, Scottish shortening of All-hallow-even "Eve of All Saints, last night of October", the last night of the year in the old Celtic calendar where it was Old Year's Night, a night for witches. Behind the name, Halloween, or the Hallow E'en as they call it in Ireland, means All Hallows Eve, or the night before the 'All Hallows', also called 'All Hallowmas', or 'All Saints', or 'All Souls' Day, observed on November 1.Another pagan holiday given a cursory baptism and sent on its way. Hallowmas "All-saints" is first attested 1389.


According to the Irish English dictionary published by the Irish Texts Society: "Samhain, All Hallowtide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signalizing the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season. This lasting untill May, during which troops (esp. the Fiann) were quartered. Faeries were imagined as particularly active at this season.


The Irish did not have a "lord of death" as such. Thus most of the customs connected with the Day are remnants of the ancient religious beliefs and rituals, first of the Druids and then transcended amongst the Roman Christians who conquered them.




'Trick or treat' may be an innocent fun way to relish on the Halloween Day but, just think about a bunch of frightening fantasies and the scary stories featuring ghosts, witches, monsters, devils, werewolves and animal sacrifices associated with it. Are these stories a myth or is there a blend of some reality? The stories are told to keep the mystic lure of Halloween night.


Like other festival's the Halloween traditions have been passed on from generation to generation. Through this process much of the originality gets distorted with newer additions and alterations. It happens so gradually, spanning over so many ages, that we hardly come to know about these distortions and what the origin of All Hallows Eve really represents.Halloween Pumpkin