Halloween is a holiday that is described as spooky, haunting, supernatural, eerie, scary, fun, creepy and ghostly. The holiday was originally called All Hallows' Eve, and it marked the beginning of a three-day feast to honor dead Christian saints, also known as hallows.Continue Reading
The ancient Celts celebrated a similar holiday called Samhain, which took place at harvest time and may also have had pagan origins. The Celts and pagans respected nature since their lives were dependent on a good harvest. The Celts also believed the change of seasons paralleled the transition from the living world into death and the afterlife. Both cultures thought that, during late autumn and early winter, spirits were more likely to cross back into the human world to seek revenge on those people who had wronged them. Food offerings were made to appease angry spirits. People began dressing up in costumes to imitate ghosts, sprites and evil spirits. They hoped to blend in with or conceal themselves from restless and vengeful ghosts.
Trick or treating symbolizes the act of appeasing angry ghosts with food in order to avoid their mischievous pranks. Jack o' lanterns were created to ward off ghosts. Although Christians have tried to redirect the focus of the holiday from ancient pagan rituals to honoring the saints, some have still kept some of the traditions, such as placing candles on the graves of the dead.Learn more about Halloween