Halloween or HalloweБen is now celebrated across the world on the night of 31st October. Modern day celebrations generally involve groups of children dressed in scary costumes roaming from house to house, demanding Бtrick-or-treatБ. Fearing the worst, intimidated householders normally hand over vast amounts of treats in the form of chocolates, sweets and candy to avoid whatever dastardly tricks may have been dreamt up by these little miscreants. The origins of these celebrations however date back thousands of years, to pagan times. The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of. Until 2,000 years ago, the Celts lived across the lands we now know as Britain, Ireland and northern France. Essentially a farming and agricultural people, the Pre-Christian Celtic year was determined by the growing seasons and Samhain marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark cold winter. The festival symbolised the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead. It was believed by the Celts that on the night of 31st October, ghosts of their dead would revisit the mortal world and large bonfires were lit in each village in order to ward off any evil spirits that may also be at large. Celtic priests, known as, would have led the Samhain celebrations. It would also have been the Druids who ensured that the hearth fire of each house was re-lit from the glowing embers of the sacred bonfire, in order to help protect the people and keep them warm through the forthcoming long, dark winter months. The conquered much of the Celtic tribal lands when they invaded from mainland Europe in 43 AD, and over the
of occupation and rule, they appear to have assimilated many of their own celebrations into the existing Celtic festivals.
One such example may help to explain the current Halloween tradition of БbobbingБ for apples. The Roman goddess of fruit and trees was known as Pomona (pictured to the right), and her symbol just happened to have been that of the apple. As the Romans moved out of Britain in the early 5th century, so a new set of conquerors began to move in. First Saxon warriors raided England s south and east coasts. Following these early, from around AD430 a host of Germanic migrants arrived in east and southeast England, including Jutes from the Jutland peninsula (modern Denmark), Angles from Angeln in southwest Jutland and the Saxons from northwest Germany. The native Celtic tribes were pushed to the northern and western extremes of Britain, to present day Wales, Scotland, and the. In the decades that followed, Britain was also invaded by a new religion. Christian teaching and faith was arriving, spreading inwards from those northern and western extremities from the, and up from with the arrival of Saint Augustine from Rome in 597. Along with the Christians arrived the Christian Festivals and amongst them БAll HallowsБ DayБ, also known as БAll Saints DayБ, a day to remember those who had died for their beliefs. Originally celebrated on 13th May, it was Pope Gregory who had the date of the All HallowsБ feast moved to 1st November sometime in the 8th century. It is thought that in doing so, he was attempting to replace or assimilate the Celtic Samhain festival of the dead with a related but church approved celebration. The night or evening of Samhain therefore became known as All-hallows-even then Hallow Eve, still later HalloweБen and then of course Halloween.
A special time of the year when many believe that the spirit world can make contact with the physical world, a night when magic is at its most potent. Throughout Britain, Halloween has traditionally been celebrated by childrenБs games such as bobbing for apples in containers full of water, telling ghost stories and the carving of faces into hollowed-out vegetables such as swedes and turnips. These faces would usually be illuminated from within by a candle, the lanterns displayed on window sills to ward off any evil spirits. The current use of pumpkins is a relatively modern innovation imported from the United States, and we can also extend the same debt of gratitude to our friends in America for that БquaintБ Бtrick-or-treatБ tradition! HalloweenВ is also known as: All Hallowsв Evening, Allhalloween, All Hallowsв Eve, or All Saintsв Eve (Picture: Getty) Trick or treat? Itвs that time of year again andВ is nearly upon us. This is the time to don scary outfits, bob for apples and try to attempt to carve pumpkins. But why do we do this? And what is the meaning Halloween? What is Halloween and Halloweenвs origins? Interestingly, HalloweenВ is also known as: All Hallowsв Evening, Allhalloween, All Hallowsв Eve, or All Saintsв Eve. Halloween is celebrated on 31 October, which is the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallowsв Day,В also known as All Saintsв Day. The origins of Halloween came from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain is a Celtic pagan festival meaning вSummerвs Endв whichВ celebrated the end of harvest season.
This was a period whenВ people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. Shocking news, guys: Women are more likely to orgasm when they have sex with other women In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III said the 1 November would be the time to honour all saints and martyrs. This is where All Saintsв Day originates from; and the evening before was known as All Hallowsв Eve and later became known as Halloween. Halloween became commercialised over time and is celebrated by children and adults partaking in activities such as such as dressing up, trick-or-treating and going to Halloween parties. Why do we say вtrick or treatв? Trick-or-treating is accustomed with children knocking on homes and asking for sweets. This phrase came from Britain and Ireland in the Middle Ages and comes from the practice of вsoulingв or вguisingв. The phrase came to America from immigrants who travelled to the country. вSoulingв was a tradition for people to go from door to door asking for food in return for saying prayers for the dead. вGuisingв consists ofВ wearing costumes, masks, or other forms of disguise. ThisВ began in Scotland in the late 19th century. In order to ward of the evil spirits, childrenВ dressed like them. Where do pumpkins come from? During Samhain, children carried lanterns made out of hollow turnips and went to homes asked for treats. More: During the festival, Gaels would carve turnipsВ to ward off spirits from getting into their houses. When Irish immigrants came over to America in the 1840s, they could not find turnips to carve and instead they used pumpkins. MORE: MORE: