In medieval times this was called "All Hallows Eve". Hallow is an old word meaning
"holy" and "e´en" is Scottish for " evening".
31st is the day before the Feast of All Saints and was originally the eve of the new year
in both Celtic (the Feast of the Death) and Anglo-Saxon times.
The Celts lived in the British Isles during ancient times. They were
pagans. They believe in the gods of nature.
were two important festivals on the Celtic calendar: One was called Beltane. It
marked the beginning of summer. The other was called Samhain (saun). It marked
the end of the summer, on October 31. Samhain was also the last day of the
year; on the Celtic calendar. The Druids were Celtic priest and teachers -
They were very important in Celtic society. Everyone respected them. They practised magic
and religious rituals on Samhain. On October 31, the Druids predicted the future.
The celtic people dressed in scary costumes to frighten the evil spirits.
They dressed as witches, ghost, skeletons. They also played games to bring good
luck in the new year. The Celts believed that on the night of October31,
ghost came out of their tombs. The spirits of the dead returned to earth. The
Druid religion went on for a long time in Ireland and Scotland. Halloween
continued to be important in both places.
After the Roman invasion in 43 AD, Samhain also became
a harvest festival called Pomona. Pomona was the
roman goddes of gardens and orchards. Nuts, fruits and apples
were part of the Samhain ceremonies. Apples were sacred and lucky!. The
colours of Halloween are orange and black. They represent the harvest ( orange) and death (black).
After the Roman invasion, Christian rites substituted pagan rites.
In the 19th century, Irish immigrants brought their Halloween customs and traditions to The United States. After acquired a sinister significance, gradually Halloween became a secular observance ( In Scotland young people met to play games to find out which of them would marry during that year. In The USA young children go from house to house demanding "Trick or treat"...) Now Halloween is one of the biggest festivities in The United States. The date is on every American calendar.