Anonymous asked in Society & CultureHolidaysHalloween · 1 decade ago

what is the origin of Halloween?

trace Halloween to its origins. why do we celebrate?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A hell of a lot of fiction has been created around the origins of Hallowe'en, none of it based on historical evidence. This fiction usually centres on a supposed pagan Celtic religious festival. A "Samhain" feast is mentioned in some versions of Irish myths which were written down 500 years after Ireland became Christian so they are probably inaccurate. These myths do not talk about a festival of the dead, there are no bonfires mentioned, no sacrifices, no mention of "blurred boundaries", no New Year, no costumes. Example on line here -

    A drunken feast for warriors to boast of their triumphs.

    The feast which is the origin of Hallowe'en did not start until around 800 AD - 250 years after Ireland became Christian so nothing to do with Irish paganism at all. All Saints Day was instituted in Rome around 750 AD as a feast for all those Saints who had no special day. It spread around Europe becoming very popular as it allowed people to celebrate their local saints.

    The feast started with a vigil the night before - All Saints Evening. When it reached the British Isles, "Saint" was translated into "Halllow" (Holy) so you get All Hallows and All Hallows Evening, shortened later to Hallowe'en. The Irish adopted this date for All Saints and dropped their existing Al Saints which had been in April.

    But how did it become what it is today in the USA and, to some extent, the UK? Well that is down to the Protestant reformation and the Puritans. Puritans did not approve of venerating or celebrating Saints - they though only God should be celebrated so in both England and America they banned the celebrations. They tried to stop people ringing bells, lighting bonfires and all the other fun things that had become traditional over the years. However, many people enjoyed their feast and carried on which lead to accusations from the Puritans of witchcraft, devil worship and, worst of all, paganism! The feast, though mostly ignored by the protestant churches, carried on as a folk tradition but with some of the Puritan notions added on - hence the nonsense about devils, witches and so on.

    In countries which remained Catholic (Spain, Italy, Latin America etc.) the feast stayed as a celebration of the Saints with the next day (Nov 2, All Souls) as a day to pray for everyone who had died. It has become known in many countries as the "Days of the Dead".

    Unfortunately, USA domination of TV and film means the strange US version of All Hallow Eve is starting to spread.

  • 1 decade ago

    It was started with the Celts as a way to honor dead because they believed that the veil between this world and theirs was lifted but other traditions like carving Jack-O-Lanterns and trick or treating have other origins. As for Jack-O-Lanterns, they were first made out of turnips that were carved so that they would scare away evil spirits. Trick or Treating started when people used to have pot lucks around harvest time-which is around Halloween-and if you didn't bring a 'treat' then you would get 'tricked'.

    We celebrate because way way back, religious leaders wanted to convert everyone and so they added holidays like Halloween to their calendars. I celebrate because its a day when you get to be whoever you want to be without being criticized and I love haunted houses and decorations, etc.


    Source(s): I love Halloween :D
  • 1 decade ago

    it started out as a celtic religous holiday and a couple other northern peoples had similar traditions on honoring there dead and protecting the liveing from the dead. we celebarate halloween because the christian faith was looking to converete everyone into christians. they used any and all means. from slaughtering nonbelievers to changeing holidays around on the calander so so called pagan religions could celebarate thier old holidays but under christian names. so that after several generations the people would be true christians..halloween is a celtic holiday celebarted the day be for all saints day.

  • A.D.
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    It's demonic

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