Can you believe that Halloween is right around the corner?! eeee! <(..<) ^(. .)^ (>..)>
If you can’t tell, Halloween is just about my all time favourite holiday of the year. Whether you call it Halloween, All Hallows Eve, or Samhain, I’m sure you’ve got to admit that this holiday has a long history. It’s pretty common knowledge that Halloween was original a Celtic festival to celebrate the end of harvest/the year, and the day when the barriers between this year and the next were thinnest. According to legend, that is why people dressed up. They were attempting to scare away the evil spirits by wearing frightening costumes and carrying jack-o-lanterns.
Over the years, this transitioned into children dressing up and going door-to-door “trick or treating”. (With the phrase referring to the threat that if the child doesn’t get a treat they will play a prank or trick on the home owner) There are some stories that Halloween was an adult recreation of Samhain to convince kids to do something other than vandalise thing. But there are reports that early on adults actually thought the holiday was a form of extortion. Even some kids didn’t want to participate (like in 1948 when a group carried a banner that read “American Boys Don’t Beg”).
There are hints of older traditions in Halloween, as well as those from cultures other than the Gaelic. There is some thought that it might have originated from a Roman holiday celebrating a harvest goddess. As this holiday has become a bit of a melting pot, it’s hard to pin point exactly where it comes from. The use of bonfires in times gone past might have been to attract moths and thereby bats (which to me personally sounds kind of weird), or stones/bones with a person’s name on them would be thrown in to be read the next morning so as to predict what the coming year would hold in store for them.
With so many superstitions mixed up together, it can be confusing. I know some people believe that because of its (supposedly) pagan roots, that it shouldn’t be celebrated. Others feel that the holiday is a celebration of evil (after all, some of the most the common costumes are of devils, witches, and ghosts). Some say that it’s all in good fun and others argue that we should try to bring the holiday back to its roots.
Be safe and enjoy the holiday!