The History of Halloween


How did Halloween start?

What is the real history of Halloween – and why do we celebrate Halloween?

The history of Halloween goes all the way back to a pagan festival called Samhain.

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Long ago, people believed that evil spirits stole the sun at the end of summer. These spirits hid the sun during winter, making the days short and the nights long. People dreaded this dark and dreary time of year.

The worst night of all was October 31.

The Celts, in Britain and France, held a festival called Samhain (sow-whin) on October 31. During Samhain devils, witches, and goblins roamed the countryside stealing animals, overturning carts, and playing tricks.

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he Celts burned bonfires to frighten away these terrible spirits. People also wore costumes of animal skins and heads to hide themselves.

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In later years Samhain was combined with the Roman festival Faralia, which honored and welcomed the spirits. Then Christians began to celebrate All Saints' Day on November 1. They did this to make people stop celebrating Samhain. The evening before November 1 was called Hallow or Holy Evening.

Over the years, it changed to Hallows Evening, then Hallow E'en, and now Halloween.