One question that often we want to know when it comes to Halloween is, “what does it mean?” In this article we hope to provide you with a little more understanding of just what does Halloween mean?
The first thing you need to understand is that this name is in fact a shortened version of “All Hallows’ Even”. This in turn refers to the eve of All Hallows Day. The actual word Hallow in turn is a old English word that has been used for referring to a holy person. In turn All Hallows Day is just another name for “All Saints Day”.
Then at some point in history people decided to refer to “All Hallows Even” as “Hallowe’en”. Then suddenly it just became known as “Halloween.”
Yet even though today’s Halloween takes its name from All Hallows’ Even, it is in fact made up of a number of different traditions. In fact some to note when it comes to what does Halloween mean is that many of the things we do on this day predate Christianity.
The actual recognizing of All Saints didn’t actually occur until the 7th Century. When Pope Boniface IV established this it was actually celebrated on the 13th May. But during the 8th Century when Pope Gregory III was leader of the Roman Catholic Church he decided to move it to the 1st November. This date was chosen because it was the date on which the Pope dedicated a church to honor all the saints.
There are many historians who believe that the date changed, so that it corresponded with the Samhain and Pagan ones. At the time of this change the Catholic Church had long been choosing to incorporate non-Christian festivals and traditions with their own.
Even though such traditions were incorporated it was noted that they weren’t able to completely get rid of certain elements of the celebration. It was at this time the Catholic Church decided that evil forces associated with the devil were at work at this time. It is these that as a result make up associate demons and witches with this time of the year. In fact even today such costumes tend to be worn more than any other.
There are many us of who don’t see Halloween as a religious festival today, but there are others who still do. Certainly when it comes to Mexico the people here have a clear understanding of “what does Halloween mean?” In Mexico, All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are observed together. Here it is known as “The Days of the Dead” (Los Dias de los Muertos.” This is a time when families like to remember those they have lost. But also includes various festivities including parades made up of ghouls and skeletons.