It is October 31st and you know what that means. It's finally Halloween. A time for neighbors to get together and have fun. A time to dress up in costumes and take your kids trick-or-treating. It is a time for all of us to enjoy. But did you ever wonder how Halloween came to be? Have you wondered the real meaning behind this tradition? Well I was a bit curious as well, so I researched it and it is actually very interesting. Halloween originates about a couple thousand years ago. It began with the Celtics who lived in the area of Ireland, the UK and France. The Celtics actually celebrated their new year on November 1st. They believed that on the day before the new year (October 31st) the dead returned to earth. Because of this belief, they celebrated a festival called Samhain. During this festival, they dressed up in costumes and lit bonfires to ward off ghosts. In addition, they believed that the presence of these spirits made it easier for priests to predict their futures and the made used these bonfires for animals to bring as sacrifices to their deities.
In 43 A.D. the Roman Empire conquered most of the Celtic land and therefore combined their festival Feralia (a festival they celebrated in late October where they remembered the passing of the dead) and a festival to celebrate the Roman goddess of fruit and trees Pomona with the Celtic festival, Samhain.
In 609 AD the Pope then dedicated this festival in honor of Christian Martyrs and this day became All Saints Day. However, Christianity eventually spread through the Celtic land and it became a day to celebrate the dead. All Saints Day was also called All-Hallows or All-Hallomas. This eventually became Halloween and found it's way to the Americas. Once in America, it eventually became less of a spiritual or superstitious holiday but a time to celebrate each other with candy, parties, costumes and trickery. This is the holiday we now know as Halloween. :) Pretty neat huh?
So there you have it folks, this is how Halloween came to be. So please enjoy yourselves, your children and families and have fun! But, please always remember to stay safe. :)