It's a lot older than you might think! Halloween is the night preceding All Hallows Day which is November 1st. And just like that, thanks to these local hooligans, Halloween costumes became scary, spooky, funny, and creative all at the same time. Samhain heralded the beginning of winter and longer nights. They're part of the story, too. Lanterns represented supernatural beings for the Celtics. This year’s overall slowdown has brought with it an abundance of downtime. This date has long been considered one of the most magical nights of the year, a night where the ‘wall’ that separates the living and the dead is the thinnest. Around AD 600, Pope Boniface IV created All Saints’ Day, and Pope Gregory III later moved this holiday to November 1 in an effort to give a Christian alternative to this pagan celebration.5Christians who did not want to celebrate pagan festivals celebrated something of positive spiritual value—in this case honoring the saints and martyrs. Amidst each year’s trick-or-treating, candy overload, and haunted house visits, have you ever wondered why we actually celebrate Halloween? It needn’t be this way. Many people were said to dress up as saints and recite songs or verses door to door. The word "Halloween" comes from"All Hallows' Eve" and means "hallowed evening." God reminds us, through the Apostle John, not to gravitate toward such worldly holidays (1John 2:15). More about us. A storytelling night as the family gathers around the fireplace with hot chocolate…. All Saints Day is a religious holiday observed by the Catholic Church and set aside for worship of all the saints in heaven. The littlest ones get a chance to dress up and go trick-or-treating, and parents have an excuse to sip on a boo-zy Halloween cocktail. Source. A time when the veils between the worlds were thinner and so many could "see" the other side of life. Blair Donovan is a staff writer for, where she covers everything from the latest Joanna Gaines and “The Voice” news to home décor, gardening, DIY, and entertaining. Historical Background A few of today's popular celebrations associated with Halloween have pagan roots stemming from the ancient Celtic festival, Samhain. Halloween Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain. Over time, as Christianity took over and the pagan undertones of the holiday were lessened, the basic traditions of the holiday remained a part of pop culture every year; they simply evolved and modernized. "Hallow" — or holy person — refers to the saints celebrated on All Saints' Day, which is November 1. October 31st is right around the corner. Cultures all around the world have holidays strangely like Halloween. As for the costumes, they evolved, too. On October 31, we celebrate Halloween Day. The Puritans were disapproving of the holiday's pagan roots, so they didn't take part in the celebrations. Hundreds of years ago, people dressed up as saints and went door to door, which is the origin of Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating. Sign up to receive daily inspiration to your inbox. With this ghoul-fest almost upon us, are you busy putting on your black hat and prepping your best witch costume? Kelly. Celebrated on October 31, Halloween is a secular holiday combining vestiges of traditional harvest festival celebrations with customs more peculiar to the occasion, such as costume wearing, trick-or-treating, pranksterism, and decorative imagery based on … The candy-grabbing concept also became mainstream in the U.S. in the early to mid-1900s, during which families would provide treats to children in hopes that they would be immune to any holiday pranks. The Celtics honored their ancestors in a truly unique way at Halloween (Or, Samhain). She worked in the healthcare industry for over 7 years, and was responsible for workflow management of clinical trials. And that is the true meaning of Halloween. More importantly, how and why did it take its present-day form? (where people were deeply connected to nature and earth). This Halloween might not look anything like your typical witching day, as we continue to be in the middle of a global pandemic and a second wave where stricter guidelines will need to be adhered to. The name itself derives from the archaic English phrase "All Hallows' Evening," referring to the Eve of All Saints. The Real Meaning of Halloween. So what is the true spiritual meaning of Halloween? If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. ANSWER: Christian History of Halloween – The Origins Halloween began to evolve as early as AD 270 from the Celt’s culture in Ireland who practiced a special costume party event the night before their annual feast of “Samhain,” which had a two-fold purpose. October 31, 2014 Updated: October 31, 2014. It was part of the ancient Celtic religion in Britain and other parts of Europe. Technical note: Soul cakes originated as part of the All Souls' Day holiday on November 2 (yep, a third holiday! If you said yes, grab your broomstick, and let’s get witching! The holidays are all about tradition. The Spookiest Urban Legend in Every State, 14 Coronavirus Halloween Fabric Face Masks, 62 Best Last-Minute Halloween Costumes You Can DIY, Kids Will Love These Halloween Movies on Netflix, 29 Best-Selling Halloween Decorations on Amazon. Tell us one person, young or adult, who doesn’t think pumpkin carving is fun? Halloween began as the festival of Samhain. Halloweens Origin As Samhain Halloween’s origins can be traced back to the ancient Celts who celebrated Samhain (pronounced sow-in). "Hallow-tide" (the holiday), probably from roots meaning "summer's end". While this is disappointing for many, perhaps it’s a change we can embrace with open arms. Halloween means "All Saints Eve" or "All Hallows Eve". Perhaps in an attempt to offset the occasion with a religious celebration, Pope Boniface IV ultimately made the call to change the observance to its current November 1 date. Halloween to most of us means candy, costumes and trick-or- … At this time, Celtics believed that the veil between our human physical world and invisible dimensions was thin. It’s a great way to bond with the family and still be safe. In fact, if you’re asking, “How is this year not even over yet?” we’re with you. Bobbing for apples, for example, became popular as a fortune-telling game on All Hallows' Eve: Apples would be selected to represent all of a woman's suitors, and the guy—er, apple—she ended up biting into would supposedly represent her future husband. Anu (short for Anupama) is a clinical researcher by profession. 2020 has brought with it an opportunity to revamp the regular status quo of these festivals. It marked a pivotal time of year when seasons changed, but, more importantly, observers also believed the boundary between this world and the next became especially thin at this time, enabling them to connect with the dead. Halloween is a "holiday" celebrated by many Christians. John Lantsberger. Over centuries, pagan traditions were either entirely forgotten or diluted out. During the entire month of October we drive past front porches and stoops, all of them seemingly riddled with grinning jack-o’-lanterns. Here's the true tale of how Halloween officially came to be. The police and fire departments have learnt to be on alert and prepare in advance for a sharp rise in … Halloween is celebrated in many countries, especially in countries like the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Ever wondered what the real meaning behind Halloween is? Halloween is a name that means nothing by itself. What better way to revive long lost traditions about a bygone era? We aren’t saying quit Halloween entirely this year! Halloween is an entirely pagan celebration with no basis in Scripture. While it is true that the origin of Halloween is from the Celtics, researching your roots and family traditions at this time can be truly soul-warming. There is a deeper spiritual significance that underlies the mainstream fascination with Halloween largely revolving around trick-or-treating, haunted houses, Halloween costumes, and spooky fun. But in the midst of the Halloween party games and sugar rushes, have you ever stopped to wonder about the origin and history of Halloween? E very year, I refuse to carve our pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern until Halloween night. Start now! You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. But once Irish and Scottish immigrants began to arrive in America in greater numbers, the holiday made its way back into the zeitgeist. During this period, she witnessed several hundred patients walk away in disappointment with "no cure" due to the "symptom-based" approach of Western... Lanterns were originally carved out from turnips. Halloween has origins in the Catholic liturgical calendar, he said, but the customs surrounding it have "drifted from the feast's intended meaning and purpose." The True Spiritual Meaning of Halloween. Country Living participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Print. The very first American colonial Halloween celebrations featured large public parties to commemorate the upcoming harvest, tell ghost stories, sing, and dance. Read More, How to Make Stuffed Jack-O-Lantern Halloween Peppers, intergenerational family thought patterns, Meditative Cooking: A New Perspective on A Daily Habit, Our Editorial Team’s Must-Have Summer Essentials, Daily Reminders: DIY Your Own Affirmation Cards, 5 Ways to Practice Daily Gratitude & Why It’s Important. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at, 37 Fall Candles That'll Make Your Home Feel Cozy, 41 Scary-Good Halloween Dinner Party Ideas, 49 of the Best Halloween Songs of All Time. In truth, Samhain holds a rich spiritual significance, which somehow got lost over centuries. The name was eventually shortened to "Halloween," which we know and love to this day. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? However, some areas hold large community events. What is one thing you would want to say to your passed-on ancestors? Imagine for a second if the veil between worlds really dropped (just like in the movies). But if for any reason you choose to rethink the meaning of Halloween this year, here are four ways to do so: Pandemic or not, here come Jack-O-Lanterns for the win! It's here, it's here! A good Christian might think that … No matter how old you are or how many times you've been around the block, the holiday simply never gets old. It's here, it's here! This meant that spirits of nature and our deceased ancestors had easy access to our lives. In fact, Halloween previously posed a huge (albeit rather superstitious) matchmaking opportunity for young women in the 19th century. Nearly 2,000 years ago, in the pre-Christianity era, Celtics occupied most of Northern Ireland and France. 10 Houseplants That Can Survive the Darkest Corner, Ben & Erin Napier Talk 'Home Town' Season 5, 93 Best Easy Low-Carb Recipes With Tons of Flavor. It is a celebration of endings and a time to honor the dead. See if they are interested to learn more! The events of Halloween begin as day turns to night and the spirit of darkness descends. It is takes place on the eve of the Christian feast of “All Hallows’ Day”or “All Saint’s Day”. This belief is shared by some other cultures; a similar idea is mentioned around the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which also typically occurs in October and involves saying prayers for the dead. Halloween, as we know it today, is an ultra-commercialized version of what was once a Celtic pagan spiritual festival called Samhain, and primarily based on seasonal shifts. Halloween falls on October 31 because the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain, considered the earliest known root of Halloween, occurred on this day. Even better is if you can create new meaningful ones that resonate with you. The direct predecessor of modern-day Halloween is the festivity that began All Saints' Day, which started at sundown on October 31. Country Living editors select each product featured. This ancient form of playing pranks has taken shape as today’s trick-or-treating. The pagan and Christian occasions hadn't always been back to back, though. This Halloween, write a letter to your grand or great-grandparents acknowledging their blessings (and generational behavioral patterns). Wearing costumes that resembled the creatures of the dead and going door to door was a way for Celtics to evade misfortune and evil spirits. Halloween's origin can be found in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced saw-en, meaning 'end of summer'). Mindfulness and meditation, as an example, have skyrocketed in use since the beginning of the pandemic. Why not try out a pumpkin-inspired recipe as well? Here, we're sharing Halloween's origin and meaning in the hopes that it'll make your celebrations even more enjoyable. Halloween: The True Meaning Today is Halloween. Are Ghosts Real? The Real Meaning of Halloween. Halloween today is performed usually by adherents of witchcraft who use the night for their rituals. The shells would be heated over a fire, causing the milk to brown just enough for the message to mystically appear on the paper for the recipient. Throughout prehistory, ancient societies also remembered this time. Let us remind ourselves this fall that holidays hold within them an opportunity to reconnect to the past. The mass Irish migration to the Western world during the early 1900s resulted in many of their practices being welcomed by American early settlers. Every tradition holds a celebration around harvest season. As each season of 2020 rolls in, we as a human race, in many ways, are reverting back to ancient practices. ), but eventually became a part of Halloween night as the concept evolved into trick-or-treating. It was referred to as Samhain (or “Sow-in”). Check out: How to Make Stuffed Jack-O-Lantern Halloween Peppers. Simply put, Halloween and its symbols originated not in Holy Writ but with people deceived by the devil to worship false (pagan) gods. Educate your tiny tots or friends about the pre-Christianity era through storytelling. This content is imported from {embed-name}. Many are making conscious efforts to wake up to the wisdom within. Christian History of Halloween QUESTION: What is the Christian history of Halloween? After all, this old-fashioned holiday actually dates back many, many years. Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of "All Hallows' evening"), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. Even as we continue to pause and look within, This year presents an excellent opportunity to ask, “what does Halloween actually celebrate” and add new meaning to an otherwise heavily commercialized pumpkin fest. Samhain was the final harvest festival of the season, celebrated at the exact point between the Fall Equinox, and Winter Solstice (Right around October 31 st). The "een" part of the word is a contraction of "eve" — or evening before. You already know that Halloween takes place on the last day of October, but here's something you might not know: The word itself literally means "hallowed evening," and was previously known to early European celebrators as All Hallows' Eve. The early pagan holiday of Samhain involved a lot of ritualistic ceremonies to connect to spirits, as the Celts were polytheistic. Don’t forget to read 5 Ways to Celebrate Halloween to learn how you can do Halloween differently this year! Sometimes the scariest thing you can do is take the time to practice self-care. It is a time in which groups of children, teenagers, and adults dress in costumes and run from door to door shouting "trick-or-treat". [source: McBain's Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language] Encyclopedia Britannica says: Halloween, also called All Hallows' Eve or All Hallows' Evening, a holy or hallowed evening observed on October 31, the eve of All Saints' Day. This is also an amazing healing tool for working with intergenerational family thought patterns. Keep in mind the history of pumpkins and Celtic tradition while engaging in this fall family activity. Children would also go door to door asking for "soul cakes," a treat similar to biscuits. Halloween also known as “All Hallows’ Eve” or “All Saints’ Eve” is a yearly celebration. Halloween obviously remains a popular holiday in America today, but it actually almost didn't make it across the Atlantic. Your movie queue is filled with Hocus Pocus and Addam’s Family. Depending on who you ask, Halloween is either a fun evening where kids get to dress up as their favorite character, monster, or hero and then wander around the neighborhood collecting enough candy to make them puke several times before bedtime, or it's Satan's holiday. Being a festival of the dead, Halloween is a time when witches attempt to communicate with the dead through various forms of divination. While there isn't a lot of detail known about these celebrations, many believe the Celts celebrated in costume (granted, they were likely as simple as animal hides) as a disguise against ghosts, enjoyed special feasts, and made lanterns by hollowing out gourds (hence, the history of jack-o'-lanterns). Or Could It All Be in Your Head? While they began as earnest tributes to saints, that tradition likely fell out of favor at some point…until young Scottish and Irish pranksters got the idea to dress up in scary-looking garb again as a way to spook unsuspecting neighbors. Well, it turns out there is a true meaning of Halloween. While it takes its name from All Saints' Day, modern Halloween is actually a combination of several different traditions. Halloween is usually celebrated amongst family, friends and, sometimes, co-workers. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Halloween, as we know it today, is an ultra-commercialized version of what was once a Celtic pagan spiritual festival called Samhain, and primarily based on seasonal shifts. Fuel for the Soul: The true meaning of Halloween. Remember, this year, when you hand out sweets or shepherd your children through the streets, remind the kids about the deeper meaning of the event: that death is no barrier to love and we can hold those dear to us in our hearts and minds forever. It's estimated that by the early 20th century, Halloween was celebrated across North America by the majority of (candy-loving, costume-wearing) people. Dressing up as Demons, Ghosts or Witches attracts Evil spirits. Yup, Halloween 2020 is just about here! In fact, a lot of the things we do on Halloween predate Christianity entirely. Up until the 7th century CE, All Hallow's Eve fell actually on May 13. You, too, can do the same in a way that speaks uniquely to you. This evening, the streets of the United States (and many other countries) will be filled with children dressed in ghoulish costumes, going from door to door collecting candy. Current day Halloween is all about candy overload, single-use plastic costumes, Halloween décor, and so much more! S.D. This year, more than ever before (thanks to mental health awareness during this pandemic), there seems to be a global shift towards increased spiritual practices. My kids beg me to do it earlier. What Exactly is the Real Meaning of Halloween? Druids (Celtic priests) helped build and initiate these protective and cleansing bonfires. For the Celts who celebrated their new year on November 1st, the day marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter, the end of light and the beginning of darkness, the end of life and the beginning of death. I spent Halloween night drinking chicken broth in the Silliman dining hall (which had been decorated beautifully), talking to my brother on the phone, and falling asleep promptly at 9:30pm. Samhain was also when the community participated in bonfires, celebrated the abundance of harvest, and expressed gratitude to the ever-giving Gaia. 2. And this year, once again, we'll all be enjoying our favorite candy and admiring our neighbors' decorations on October 31—and the only spooky spirits we'll be talking about are the witch and ghost costumes our friends are wearing. This harvest festival of the Druids ushered in the New Year, beginning on the evening of October … And as for the witches and wizards that you've come to associate with it? In truth, Samhain holds a rich spiritual … By Barbara Biziou. Witches celebrate Halloween as the "Feast of Samhain" the first feast of the witchcraft year. The facts about Halloween including the meaning of Halloween. Another popular All Hallows' Eve ritual was mirror-gazing, as people hoped to catch a vision of their future by looking into the mirror. Fuel for the Soul. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. In looking within, we are able to understand the real meaning of Halloween and other popular festivals. They follow similar themes and patterns that all fall in late October and early November. These Welsh-speaking pagans marked the end of summer, their harvest season, with a celebration. Doing so allows us to sync up with the messages and soulful rhythms that the universe is constantly sending our way. There are also reports of fortune-cookie-like favors being given out during earlier times. This is also where Halloween gains its "haunted" connotations. The mystical rituals of earlier times evolved into more lighthearted fun and games. There are unique practices to each culture that are enriching to learn. To honor deceased ancestors and spirits, they offered freshly prepared cakes and food from their harvest bounty each year on October 31st and November 1st. As ubiquitous as Halloween celebrations are throughout the world, few of us know that the true origin of Halloween is a ceremony of honoring our ancestors and the day of the dead. They used to consider it with all solemnity as one of the most significant observances of the Church year 2020 has been hard in numerous ways, and we get it! It was not until the Middle Ages that pumpkin lanterns really took off in Ireland. Halloween has officially arrived, and there’s so much to look forward to, from brainstorming dark, spooky costumes to trying out pumpkin carving ideas with the kids and, of course, eating unfathomable amounts of Halloween treats, candy, and chocolate and indulging in everything pumpkin spice flavored. Originally, Halloween wasn’t a time to fear the dead, but rather to show some respect for their sacrifices. For example, the somewhat heavy concept of connecting to the dead was replaced with the more lighthearted idea of telling the future. So, how about together we ponder over the real meaning of Halloween? Today commercialization of festivals has become a norm in our capitalistic economy. The festival has all the trappings of evil. To this day, this concept ties in well with Samhain and the meaning behind it. People wrote messages on pieces of paper in milk, and the notes were then folded and placed into walnut shells. 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