The origins of Halloween lie in an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, which was a festival of the dead. The festival was traditionally held on the day of the official start of winter on the Celtic calendar, which corresponds to November 1 on the modern calendar.Know More
During Samhain, revelers would light bonfires to honor the dead and keep them from the realm of the living. It was believed that during Samhain, spirits were able to visit the world of the living. It was also the time when those who had passed away during the year could travel to the beyond.
Christian missionaries have a lot to do with Halloween as it is known in the modern world. In an attempt to diminish the celebration of Samhain, they assigned the same day as the feast of All Saints, or All Hallows Day, on November 1. "Hallow" means holy or sanctified. Over the years, the symbolism of Samhain remained, and the celebration of All Hallow's Eve continued as a celebration of the disembodied dead. Gifts of food and drink were placed out for these spirits to appease them. This began the tradition of children dressing up as spooks and ghouls and going door to door to collect treats.Learn more in Halloween
Americans celebrate Halloween because it was brought to the United States by early settlers, specifically those from Ireland. Although small Halloween celebrations occurred in colonial times, the large influx of Irish immigrants in the 19th century contributed to the nationwide popularity of the holiday.Full Answer >
The night before Halloween is commonly called Mischief Night, particularly in the state of New Jersey. In some areas of New York State, the night is referred to as Goosey Night or Hell Night, while other areas in the New England area use the name Cabbage Night or Gate Night. In the Detroit region, people call it Devil's Night, while in the North and South Dakota states, the night is called Mat Night.Full Answer >
The day after Halloween is called All Saints Day. Celebrated on Nov. 1 each year, it is a Christian day of solemnity that is also referred to as Solemnity of All Saints, All Hallows or Hallowmas.Full Answer >
The word "Halloween" is a corruption of "All Hallows' Eve," the day before All Saints' Day, and it was initially a Catholic high feast day as well as a minor Celtic feast day. Medieval Catholics believed this was the night spirits were free to roam the earth.Full Answer >