by ABARA Team on Oct 29, 2022
Dear Miss Tricky,
It’s Halloween again!
Did you know that Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain? Let’s dial back all the way to the 8th century, when Pope Gregory III designated November 1 to honour all saints – and All Saints Day was born. The evening before (31 October) was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats.
Dial farther back: Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, celebrated their new year on November 1. The day marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
To commemorate Samhain, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, burned crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore grisly costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins.
As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups and the American Indians meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge as public events held to celebrate the harvest. Neighbours gathered to share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance and sing. Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors.
Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival but it will end with you wearing a gorgeous, entrancing Little Black Dress, draw a froth of lace over your face and carry a polished black handbag – instead of a broomstick!