Every year, we celebrate the scary holiday, dressing up as goblins, ghouls, and ghosts. However, how many of us actually know why we celebrate this day? Here at the Fab Man-ual, I believe it’s important to become cultured about the world around us. Therefore, I’ll periodically blog about cultural related things that will lead to a better understanding of worldly things, or just make you sound smarter in your group of friends.
The root of the Holiday:
Halloween’s roots actually begin in the Celtic Pagan holiday of “Samhain,” which means roughly “summer’s end.” It celebrates the end of the “lighter” half of the year and the passage into the “darker” half, closely resembling our understanding of the winter solstice. The Celts believed that the border between our world and the “Otherworld” became very thin on this holiday, allowing good spirits (like family ancestors) as well as harmful spirits to pass through to our world.
So why masks and costumes?
The ancient Celts believed that by disguising oneself as a harmful spirit, one could avoid harm by the dangerous spirits. Jack-o-lanterns were also carved out into the faces of evil spirits to again – ward them off!
How does Samhain become “Halloween?”
Samhain is an ancient Pagan Celtic Holiday. The festival was performed over the years, and Christian missionaries eventually appropriated the holiday. The term “Halloween” first arose in the 16th Century from a Scottish variant of the word All-Hallows-Even (All Hallows Eve). That’s the night before All Hallows Day, a Roman Catholic holiday celebrated on November 1 (more commonly known as All Saints Day).
So there you have it…”All-Hallows-Even” = Halloween!