What Is the Real History of Halloween? and Why Do We Celebrate It on October 31st?

  • By: Damien R. (Romero)
  • Date: August 21, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.
  • The word “Halloween”, which means “hallowed evening”, comes from All Hallows Eve. “
  • Halloween’s history dates back to a pagan festival called Samhain.
  • Many centuries ago, people dressed as saints to go door-to-door. This is what spawned Halloween costumes and trick or treating.

As leaves turn to oranges and yellows, temperatures drop, and you start to pull out sweaters and jackets, it’s time to deck out your porch with pumpkins and get to carving and brainstorming Halloween treats and costumes. Trick-or-treating (or perhaps more exciting for adults, an excuse to sip on a boozy Halloween cocktail ) is just around the corner, and frightful fun and perhaps some Halloween party games await.

Do you ever wonder what Halloween’s origin and history is amid all the fun? We have answers to your questions about Halloween’s origin, history, and ties to pagan holidays. This holiday was created many, many decades ago. The witches, wizards, and other characters that makeup today’s celebrations are also part of this story.

Although Halloween is always the last Saturday in October, it was known before that it was called All Hallows Eve. It paid tribute to the saints and the holiday set on All St.’s Day the next day. This is November 1. All Hallow’s Eve was held on May 13,. However, it moved to autumn after Pope Boniface IV called for the event, possibly to make up the difference with a religious celebration. The triple-word All Hallows Eve was eventually shortened to Halloween.

Here are some fun facts about Halloween on October 31.

Why do we celebrate Halloween on October 31st?

Halloween falls on October 31 because of the ancient Gaelic holiday of Samhain. This day is considered to be the first known root of Halloween. This day was pivotal in the year when the seasons changed. But, more importantly, it allowed observers to believe that the boundary between the worlds became thinner at this time, which enabled them to communicate with the dead. Other cultures share similar beliefs. Yom Kippur is a Jewish holiday that occurs in October. It involves praying for the dead. Halloween also has a haunted connotation.

Halloween Activities: The History

Samhain, an early pagan holiday, was filled with ritualistic ceremonies connected to spirits. The Celts were polytheistic. Although not much information is available about these celebrations and the Celts who celebrated them in costume (granted, they were as simple as animal hides) to protect themselves from ghosts, enjoy special feasts, and make lanterns out of gourds (hence the history of Jack-o’-lanterns). The holiday’s basic traditions remained part of popular culture each year, even though Christianity gained power and the pagan undertones were diminished.

In the modern era, mystical rituals have replaced lighter-hearted games and fun. The idea of connecting with the dead, which was a rather heavy concept, was replaced by the lighter idea of predicting the future. For example, bobbling for apples became a popular All Hallows’ Eve fortune-telling game. Apples were chosen to represent all the suitors of a woman, and the man–er, apple she ended up eating would supposedly be her future husband. In reality, Halloween was a popular (although superstitious!) matchmaking opportunity for young women in 19th-century America.

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Mirror-gazing was another popular All Hallows Eve ritual. People hoped to see their future through the mirror and thus get a glimpse of it. Reports also suggest that fortune cookie-type favors were given during earlier times. People used milk to write messages, folded the notes and put them in walnut shells. The milk would brown enough to make the message magically appear on the paper, so the shells were heated and placed over a fire.

History of Halloween Costumes and Trick-or-Treating

People were known to dress up in saint costumes and sing or recite verses from door to door. Children would ask for soul cakes, a similar treat to biscuits, from their neighbors. Technical Note: Soul cakes were originally part of the All Souls Day holiday on November 2. (yes, it’s the third holiday! However, soul cakes became part of trick-or-treating and eventually became part of All Souls’ Day. In the United States, candy-grabbing became a popular holiday tradition in the mid-to-late 1900s. Children were treated by their families, hoping they would not be tricked.

They also evolved in terms of costumes. They became as well. While they were originally intended to be honors to saints, this tradition probably fell out of favor. Then young Irish and Scottish pranksters came up with the idea of dressing in frightening-looking garb to scare neighbors. These local hooligans made Halloween costumes scary, funny, creative, and spooky.

How Halloween is Celebrated Today

Although Halloween is still a top-rated holiday in America, it almost didn’t make the Atlantic. The Puritans disapproved of Halloween’s pagan roots and didn’t participate in the celebrations. The holiday was reintroduced into American culture after more Irish and Scottish immigrants arrived in America. Large public celebrations were held at the first American colonial Halloween celebration to celebrate the harvest, tell ghost stories and dance.

According to estimates, Halloween was celebrated in North America by the majority (candy-loving and costume-wearing) population by the 20 th century. This year, Halloween will be celebrated by all of us, with everyone enjoying their favorite candy and admiring the decorations of our neighbors on October 31. The only scary spirits we’ll discuss are the ghost and witch costumes our friends wear.

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