Halloween, All Hallowes’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve- many names, but one big celebration, Halloween is easily among the most popular of festivals worldwide, particularly in the United States. With Halloween 2017 just around the corner, do you know why Halloween is celebrated? Or are you even aware of the History of Halloween? If not, then read on to know more.
Halloween is more of a Christianized feast. It is a celebration that takes place on the 31st of October every year, and initiates the triduum of Hallowtide, which is basically that time in the year (or the liturgical year to be more exact) which is dedicated to remembering the dead, such as the martyrs, saints and all other faithful believers who are now no more. The origin of Halloween dates back to Samhain, which was an ancient Celtic festival. It was celebrated in the end of the harvest season, when the pagans would stock their supplies in preparation for the winters.
Belief of these people states that on 31st October, boundaries between both the worlds- that of the living and the dead were overlapped, meaning that the deceased would come to life and then cause the damaging of crops, sickness and so on. The custom of wearing masks and costumes has been going on since quite some time. It was believed that these helped mimic as well as appease the evil spirits. The practice of ‘Trick and Treating’ is similar to ‘souling’, which was a practice in the medieval time. In this, the poor would go door to door asking for food in return for praying for the dead, which ws done on ‘All Souls Day (November 2).
But that sounds like quite the history lesson now, does it? However, what the history of Halloween is has a lot do to with the way its celebrations have shaped up the way we know them. Trick or treat started gaining importance in 1947 through children’s magazines. While many versions of the story characterize it as an adult invention, in order to steer away Halloween celebrations away from vandalism, it doesn’t really matter does it? As long as we have the festival of Halloween and a great funky way to celebrate it, 31st October will not be ‘just another night’. Happy All Hallows Eve folks!