We thought it would be fun to explore the history and origins of Halloween.
The Origin of Halloween
Ancient Celts celebrated a festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in or sah-wen) some 2000 years ago. This was the equivalent of our New Years day as the harvest season ended and the dark days of winter began. Interestingly, the Celtic day began at sundown; the concept of the new year beginning as nights increased in length makes sense in this context.
The festival continued over 3 days with many of the traditions and ideas we have come to loosely associate with Halloween. The Celts believed that during the period between the ending of one year and beginning of the next the boundary between the living and dead blurred and the veil was lifted, allowing spirits to freely wander the earth. In particular, those that had died during the year were now able to enter the land of the dead where they belonged. Bonfires were lit outside to ward off the spirits and blazed till dawn when they were extinguished and hearths lit inside for the winter's warmth.
Tomorrow we'll look at Costumes