How Halloween Began Nearly 2,000 years ago, an ancient people called the Celts lived in Ireland. Every year around the time of Halloween, the Celts held a fire festival called Samhain (pronounced 'sah-win'), which means 'summer's end.' They were celebrating the end of the harvest. Legend has it ... Read Full Post
How Halloween Began
Nearly 2,000 years ago, an ancient people called the Celts lived in Ireland. Every year around the time of Halloween, the Celts held a fire festival called Samhain (pronounced 'sah-win'), which means 'summer's end.' They were celebrating the end of the harvest.
Legend has it that Samhain was the time of year when spirits were most likely to pass into our realm and visit the living. The spirits of loved ones were invited to come home, and people prepared food for both the living and the dead. People wore masks and lit bonfires to ward off evil spirits.
As Christianity swept through Europe, the Celtic traditions spread across Europe but changed slightly to adopt to Christian principles. Rather than celebrating Samhain, Europeans celebrated All Saints' Day, otherwise known as All Hallows' Day, on November 1. But the celebrations actually began the day before on October 31, the holiday when people dressed in masks known as All Hallows' Eve.
s a large number of Europeans traveled to the United States in the 1800s, they brought the tradition of All Hallows' Eve with them. With time, the holiday became known for costumes and candy, and it took on the name 'Halloween.'
All Hallows' Day also spread to Mexico, where they celebrate a holiday called Day of the Dead. This celebration, held on the first two days of November, combines All Saints' Day with the Mexican tradition of honoring the dead. Families set up altars in homes that are beautifully decorated with flowers, candles and food to honor loved ones who have passed on.
It is believed that loved ones' spirits will be released from heaven to come and visit the family. Parties are held in the cemeteries, and people dress up in costume to celebrate life and ward of evil. My grandsons love the Disney movie depicting this called "Coco" - it takes this day and weaves it into a young boy's adventure with his family. I have five grandsons ranging in age from 22 months, 2 years, 4 years, 6 years and 8 years - all boys! They all love this movie! Our residents love to see the youngsters come from various school classes and they sit by the doors and hand out candy - it is such a joy to see their smiles both young and old alike! So enjoy this day, however you celebrate - some trick or treat, some go to Fall Festivals at local churches and of course there is Clinton's very own Mardi Gras Parade! So whatever you do - be safe!