Published on October 22nd, 2012 | by Jane


History of Halloween

I’m going to assume you all know about the holiday of Halloween. Based on this assumption, I’m also going to guess that you may not know so much about how Halloween came to be. Intrigued? No? Well, I’ll carry on anyway.

As far as we know, Halloween is an incredibly old holiday. Some say it dates all the way back to an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced Sow-in. I know, I never would have guessed either). This holiday marked the end of the Celts’ year, when their harvests would die (as well as plenty of people from the cold! Brrrr!!!). They believed that the world of the living and the world of the dead’s boundaries got blurred on October 31st and ghosts would roam the lands. Because of the spirits, Celtic priests often took the opportunity to make prophecies about the upcoming year. The Celts livelihoods were very dependent on the natural world (no Apple Stores for them) so they hoped for promising predictions.

To keep the gods happy, they would build bonfires and sacrifice animals and crops in the hopes of a prosperous new year (which now, seems a bit silly. They were sacrificing the things they needed in the hopes of getting more things they needed. Hmmm…) They even dressed up in costume for the ceremony; though instead of dressing up as characters from their favourite TV show, they wore animal skins. Yum.

So what do you think of that origin? Like it? Or do you like the way we celebrate Halloween better now?

(Cover by Leah McNeir)

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