When we were children, we used to dress up in fancy costumes and go trick or treating or attending parties before coming to full terms with the origins of Halloween. One of the most beloved times of the year, Halloween excites people into preparation – from carving out Jack-o-lanterns to buying food and drink for their homes – and is synonymous to fun, fright, and festivities.
In our newest reviews with facts about Halloween, it’s time you discover more about one of the most important periods of our calendar and what it means to our lives:
1. All Hallows Eve
Halloween roots from the Celts who lived in Ireland thousands of years ago. The originally pagan holiday meant to honor the dead, and was commemorated on the last day of the Celtic calendar on October 31, and called “All Hallows Eve.” This day was the mark of the end of summer or the start of November, wherein November 1 was All Saints Day. The “summer’s end” or Samhain was the festival celebrated by the people on October 31 honoring their dead.
2. Fusion of Halloween
Some are skeptical that Samhain was devoted to the dead. They say it was more of the natural cycle or passage of the seasons when fall gave way to winter, wherein the beginning of winter and the deathly cold reminded everyone of their transitory life and opportunity to remember the lives of those that passed.
The proximity of Samhain to All Saints Day was believed to have fused into the culture of Halloween: a time to dress up in costumes and ask for treats or trick each other, think and play about death, and frighten one another with spooky stories. Traditional trick or treating evolved from the old practice of leaving out gifts to the dead at this time.
The Catholic Church used its influence to change some parts of this day of the dead as it is celebrated in various ways around the world. From moving the holiday to a different date to creating new ones like the All Saints Day on November 1 and All Souls Day on November 2 to counter the pagan activities of Halloween, Halloween nevertheless evolved to be second only to Christmas in popularity, and is even celebrated with candles lit on gravestones and visits to the cemetery to vigil for the dead.
The Day of the Dead, a celebration and remembrance of the deceased loved one or relative in Mexico, Latin America, and Spain, is the Dia De Los Muertos starting the evening of October 31 until All Soul’s Day on November 2. Mexicans embrace death and pay their respects to their dead with elaborate personal altars constructed for the latter, culminating in a graveyard visit, all with generous decorations, food and drink, and candles and incense to guide their dead back to their homes.
Halloween is the holiday when adults and children alike frolic and enjoy life as though it were their last. October 31 being the last day of the calendar when Halloween originated and the herald for winter, Halloween has a solemn other than death-focused side wherein we can appreciate those that once lived and welcome something new.
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