Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated around the world on October 31, the day before the Western Christian feast of All Hallows.
Here we will tell you what the word “Halloween” means and what this festival is all about.
What is Halloween ?
The word Halloween is derived from the term “All Hallows Eve” which occurred on October 31 to mark the end of summer in Northwestern Europe and the next day being celebrated as the “All Saints Day” or “All Hallows Day”
History of Halloween :
The origins of Halloween festival can be traced back to the medieval Irish and Scottish times when the day was part of the Celtic Feast of Samhain (sah–ween), the grand celebration marking the beginning of the Winter season because it was when animal herders would move their animals into barns and pens. This was also the time of the crop harvests.
It is believed by the Druids that during that times, on that night the division between the physical world and the spirit world was pierced; allowing witches, demons, hobgoblins and elves to be released from the world beyond into the world of the living to harass those who were alive.
The Druids create costumes and dress up as witches, devils and various other ghoulish characters to supposedly blend in with the ghoulish entities from the world beyond in response and for protection. They were as authentic as possible, so much that they even went so far as imitating these supposed ghouls by taking part in demonic activities in order to be immune from attack. They believed that these efforts would ward off the evil spirits.
During those days the festival included animal sacrifices, offerings to the dead, and bonfires in memory of the departed.
Why do We Call it “Halloween”?
In AD 835 when Pope Gregory IV, moved the celebration for all the martyrs (All Saints Day) from May 13th to November 1st in order to overthrow the above mentioned Druid tradition of festivals that was centered around the myth of ghosts and goblins. From that time onwards, October 31st came to be known as All Hallows’ Eve from which the present day name Halloween was later derived.
Halloween Celebrations :
Currently the celebrations for the Halloween day includes Halloween activities like trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.