Halloween is the time of year where we have the opportunity to be someone else. We get to dress up without feeling stupid and take on a completely different persona. Yet few of us really understand where it all began. In this article we aim to answer the question of “how did Halloween start?”
The origins of this particular holiday go back many centuries. This particular holiday was originally known as the “festival of Samhain”. This festival was celebrated by the ancient Celts who lived in Britain and other parts of Europe.
The festival of Samhain. Pronounced “sah-win” (summer’s end) there is little known about this festival. The most likely explanation for such is that it was help to celebrate the bringing in of the harvest. As a result this was a time of the year when it started to get colder and the nights longer. Everybody would then get everything prepared ready for winter. In most cases the thoughts of the people would turn to death and what the future might hold for them.
Then when the Romans started to conquer Europe they began to try and convert the locals over to Catholocism. As a result of this they decided that one way was through incorporating some of the locals festivals in with their own. In the beginning Catholics would celebrate “All Saints Day” in May. Then the date got changed to the 1st November. As a result of this the day before became name as Hallows’ Eve. When it comes to knowing how did Halloween start over time the name got shortened. This is how the name became Halloween. But nowadays this festival is celebrated not only by Catholics but all Christian faiths.
Yet the way in which we observe Halloween today only came into being some 200 years ago. It begun to see a resurgence during the latter part of the 19th Century and the early part of the 20th Century. It was in North America that we start to see the festival becoming more significant again. Many believe that this as a result of a large influx of imigrants from Ireland.
When they moved to America a large number of these people chose to bring their traditions with them. The celebrations on this day were a combination of their Christian and Celtic holidays. At the time as well as celebrating the festival with feasts, they would also celebrate it with Mass. Plus many would like to play tricks on others.
Of course over time far few of us chose to celebrate it as a religious festival. As a result more and more chose to use it as a reason to have a great party. But we should never forget how did Halloween start. In fact in some countries such as Mexico they still choose to respect the old traditions.