HALLOWEEN OR ALL HALLOWS EVE
Most of us think of Halloween as a fun night to dress in costumes and go trick or treating from door to door for sweets. But how did Halloween come about.
Long, long ago Halloween or All Hallows Even as it is sometimes known was a pagan harvest festival called Samhain that originated with the Celtic in the British Isles. The festival signaled the end of summer and the last harvest as well as a turning point in the weather. Turning points were of great significance to the Celtics and they believed that they were magical. The turning point of Samhain,was one of the most important because the Celtics believed that it was on this night that the living were in closest contact to the dead. They believed that a portal opened allowing the spirits of the dead to roam among the living causing havoc. It was for this reason that the Celtics would dress in costumes so they could go through town unrecognized by the spirits while also making noise to frighten them away. But the origin runs deeper than just the pagans.
The Christians observed All Saints’ Day on May 13th but moved it to November 1st. All Saints’ Day is a day of holy obligation when Christians honor their dead Saints. The Catholic Church has many holidays that incorporate pagan holidays. Christmas is a prime example which corresponds with the pagan winter solstice festivals. It is believed that the church moved their holidays and incorporated aspects of pagan holidays into theirs in an effort to convert the pagans.
The name Halloween was derived from All Hallows Even. All Hallows Even (hallows means to make holy) became All Hallows Eve and eventually it was shortened to just Halloween.
One of the best nights of the year is quickly approaching, so start planning what you will be this year and watch out for the spirits that will be walking among us.