The History Of Halloween

"Trick Or Treat!"

Halloween, also known as "All Hallows Eve", is a holiday that is associated with death and the supernatural. It is observed on October 31 in North America as well as some parts of Western Europe. Halloween falls on the eve of All Saints' Day, a Roman Catholic holiday. All Saints' Day was originally a pagan celebration of the dead and later became recognized in the Catholic church as a day to honor Christian Saints. Halloween is also associated with The Day Of The Dead, a Mexican holiday that coincides with all Saints' Day. During this celebration, Mexicans fill their homes with skeleton decorations, festive food, and later visit the graves of their deceased ancestors.

How did Halloween start? According to ancient Celtic tradition, Halloween (known to the Celts as Samhain) was a holiday of festivities to honor the end of a productive harvest season. This custom begins at sundown on October 31 and is celebrated long into the early hours of the following morning. According to the pagan Celtic religion of Druidism, those who died the past year would roam the earth on the night of Samhain. The Celtic people would appease these spirits with offerings of f ood and drink. At the same time, other Celts honored powerful deities by burning bonfires atop sacred hills. Sometimes, they went so far as to sacrifice animals or human beings during their ceremony.

Many Halloween festivities originate from folklore and pagan traditions. Supernatural forces and spirits of the dead all come to life on this hauntingly glorious day. Halloween decorations are often images of pumpkins, witches, black cats, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, bats and other associated paranormal. 

The most popular Halloween decoration is the "jack-o-lantern" pumpkin. The jack-o-lantern originates from a character in British folklore. According to these tales, the soul of a deceased person named Jack O' Lantern was barred from entering heaven or hell and was condemned to walk the face of the earth carrying his lantern. In memory of Jack O' Lantern, a pumpkin is carved to resemble his gruesome face along with a candle placed within it to highlight and accentuate this grotesque visual image. 




Dressing up in costume is another popular Halloween tradition. People enjoy this one day a year to "become" whoever they desire. This ritual-like tradition is considered to be harmless and fun. The more classical costumes are that of witches and ghosts. However, people today also enjoy dressing up to mock political figures and famous celebrities. 

"Trick-or-treating" is another Halloween tradition in which children travel from house to house soliciting candy from neighbours. The term ""trick-or-treat"" resorts back to the original idea that if a treat is not given to the person who asks, then a devious (but harmless) trick will be played on the unwilling participant. Due to its increasing danger, many people now give Halloween parties to replace this holiday custom. 

Halloween is overall, a deliciously splendid holiday celebration where people feel free to reveal a deeper (sometimes playfully darker) side to themselves in the midst of others. "Spirits" come out to play, fun-filled festivities are prevalent, everyone can be "anyone" and the occult is magically acceptable to all beings at least for one day.