When and how did Halloween originate?

The name Halloween means “hallowed, or holy, evening.” Yet, for some reason this holiday has become one of the most popular and best liked holidays of the entire year and is celebrated with great enthusiasm in many countries. Halloween, one of the world’s oldest holidays, is still celebrated today in a number of countries around the globe. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, Día de los Muertos—the Day of the Dead—honors deceased loved ones and ancestors. In countries such as Ireland, Canada and the United States, adults and children alike revel in the popular Halloween holiday, which derived from ancient festivals and religious rituals. Traditions include costume parties, trick-or-treating, pranks and games.

When and how did Halloween originate

Halloween, which takes place on October 31st, is really a festival to celebrate autumn, just as May Day is a festival to celebrate spring. The ancient Druids (the Druids were the religious priests in ancient Gaul, Britain, and Ireland) had a great festival to celebrate autumn which began at midnight on October 31st and lasted thru the next day, November 1st. They believed that on this night their great god of death, called Saman, called together all the wicked souls who had died during the year and whose punishment had been to take up life in the bodies of animals. Of course, the very idea of such a gathering was enough to frighten the simple-minded people of that time. So they lit huge bonfires and kept a sharp watch for these evil spirits. This is actually where the idea that witches and ghosts are about on Halloween began. And there are still people in certain isolated parts of Europe who believe this to be true!

The Romans also had a holiday about the 1st of November which was in honor of their goddess Pomona. Nuts and apples were roasted before great bonfires. Our own Halloween seems to be a combination of the Roman and Druid festivals.

Originally, the Halloween festival was quite simple and was celebrated mostly in church. But all over Europe, people looked upon this occasion as an opportunity to have fun and excitement, to tell spooky tales, and to scare each other. So instead of being devoted to the celebration of autumn, it became a holiday devoted to the supernatural, to witches, and to ghosts. Here are some of the curious customs which sprang up in connection with Halloween: Young girls who “ducked” for apples on this night could see their future husbands if they slept with the apple under their pillow. Stealing gates, furniture, signs, and so on, is done to make people think they were stolen by the evil spirits. And, of course, no one goes near a cemetery on Halloween because spirits rise up on that night! Today we use these superstitions as a way of having fun on Halloween.

After a few centuries, the belief in ghosts had gone away but people thought it was funny to dress up as one. Thus, from about 18th century people in Wales and other regions started dressing up as evil spirits and ghosts to make fun of the concept of bringing back the dead. To scare the dead, people also carry various lanterns such as the Jack-o’-lantern.

Halloween in the present day:

  1. It is the time people play with pumpkins. Everywhere around there are pumpkins.
  2. Adults dress up in various costumes – traditionally scary ones.
  3. Adults dress up in various costumes – traditionally scary ones.
  4. Kids move to other people’s homes and ask for “trick or treat”. You either show them a trick or give them chocolates.
  5. Teens go and watch the scariest horror movies that will come on theatres.


Hello friends, I am “Stacy Ryder” and i'm a former makeup artist. I like to write essays and articles about beauty, fashion, fitness and entertainment. You will love to read my articles regularly.

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