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This Party Tip submitted by BizGirl - Aug 15th, 2008

    • The Origin of Halloween

    • party planning
      The origin of Halloween began about 2000 years ago by the Celtics. The Celts inhabited the areas now known as Ireland, England, and northern France. The Celts followed the Florentine calendar which started on November 1st and the beginning of a day began at dusk. November 1st signified the change from summer to winter and was called “All Saints Day” or “All Hallows Day” also known as the new year. The Celts believed spirits of the dead re-emerged the night of “All Hallows Day”. They celebrated Samhain (Sow-en) that evening to ward off evil spirits and protect their harvests and livestock through the winter. They wore costumes to confuse the spirits into thinking they were spirits too. With all the spirits about, the Celts believed the Druids (Celtic Priests) could communicate with them to predict future happenings. The Druids lit large bon fires and the Celts threw some of their harvest and livestock into the fire for sacrifice to their Gods.

      The Romans headed north to conquer the Celts and by 43 AD most of the Celtic land was under Roman rule. During the 400 year rule, two Roman celebrations fused with the Celtic’s Samhain.  One celebration praised the Roman goddess Pomona who was the goddess of fruit and trees. The other celebration called Feralia focused on Romans respecting and remembering their dead and was celebrated at the end of October.

      Christianity reached the Celtic territory by 800 AD and the shift from fear of spirits to the honoring of saints and martyrs took place. The night before November 1st became known as “All Hallows Eve” and later became Halloween. About 200 years later, the church would create “All Souls Day” in honor of the dead. Poor children would knock on doors asking for food. Soul cakes were given and in exchange for the cakes, the children would pray for the family’s deceased relatives. This exchange formed the foundation of “Trick-or-treating”.

      The United States majority turned its back on Halloween for many years due to strict Protestant beliefs. It wasn’t until Ireland’s potato famine of 1846 which drove millions of Irish to immigrate to the US and bring with them the celebration of Halloween. During the late 19th century, Halloween transitioned from ghosts and goblins to community gatherings and fun. Trick-or-treating became the norm in the 1950’s with entire neighborhoods participating in the celebration. Today Halloween places second in most popular US holidays and generates $6.9 billion annually. And that is origin of Halloween

      Photo from Wikipedia

    • Tags: origin halloween history
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