Why Do We Celebrate Halloween?

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The word comes from 1745 and is of a Christian origin. The word Halloween means “Saints Evening”. It comes from a Scottish word that means “All Hallows Eve”. The holiday is celebrated every year on October 31st. It started as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. People would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. After Pope Gregory III designated November first for All Saints Day, the day before was recognized as All Hallows’ Eve, now as we know it, Halloween. Over time it became a day of Trick-or-Treating, eating candy, going to festivals, dances, dressing up in costumes, and carving jack-o-lanterns.


This day marks the end of summer and the harvest. It marked the start of the dark cold winter, a point of the year that is associated with human death. The Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the barrier between the living and the dead was almost unseen. On October 31 they celebrated Samhain, (pronounced sow-in) when the dead were believed to return to Earth. 


We carve jack-o-lanterns to scare away evil spirits. Originally, carved from turnips, potatoes, or beets. Halloween used to be for scaring away evil spirits, but now, it is a celebration of Autumn and spending time with friends and family.

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