Halloween: What’s The Actual Story Behind This Day?

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Origin

All the party lovers stay attentive already! October is here with the most awaited day of our lives – Halloween. While most of you have started the preps by now, it’s not too late to know the real story behind this fun day. A huge majority must be interested in getting acquainted with the background of the traditions and norms that they love to follow. So, immediately style up in your Halloween Jackets and give a quick look at this exciting piece of information. 

As we all know, October 31st marks the Halloween holiday every year. The source of this day leads us back to 2000 years ago when people used to light bonfires and show up in spooky clothes to fight with the ghosts and evil powers in Samhain’s Celtic carnival. The Celts usually came from Ireland, the U.K, and France who were accustomed to rejoice the commencement of a fresh year on the 1st of November. According to their belief, this date is the start of gloomy wintertime that was anciently related to humans’ death. 

They also thought that night before October 31st, the curtain between the spiritual and real-world narrows down during Samhain, making way for dead and ghosts to come back in this world. Then in the middle of the eighth century, Pope Gregory III named November 1st as ‘All Saints’ Day’ in order to pay tributes to the saints. Soon, this day merged with many rituals of Samhain, naming October 31st as ‘All Hallows Eve,’ and then finally as ‘Halloween’ in the latter days.

While many people suppose that this day is meant to remember the dead during the fall, others believe in wearing different costumes to repel the evil souls that come on Halloween. The story behind the bonfire that gets lit on this night might also interest you. Celtic priests, in ancient history, used to organize huge bonfires to gather people and make them burn their wealth to give sacrifice to the holy deities. The people used to wear spooky costumes and tell each other’s future, which later became a tradition.

History Behind The Name

Halloween is believed as a result of the combination of two words. ‘Hallow’ is referred to as a holy person like saints, pointing towards the All Saints’ Day, and the other part ‘een’ is the short form of the evening. You would be surprised to know that this word was used by Robert Burns, a Scottish poet, as the title of the poem that he wrote in 1785, which contributed in this name’s fame even more. Other terms for this scary day are ‘Hallowmas’ and ‘All Hallows’ Day’, call it whatever you like.

Popular Activities And Games

Apple Bobbing

This game is still popular, even having an extremely ancient origin. People dunk their heads in a big bowl or trunk of water and bite the floating apples. Whoever bites someone’s marked apple is the one who’s going to marry the other person. As confusing and unbelievable as it sounds, it’s still played by people at Halloween parties. People name this game as a ‘play of destinies’ that unites two different destinies as one. 

Jack-O’-Lanterns

Many years ago, Ireland’s populaces used to carve turnips as ‘jack-o-lanterns’ to thank a legend. A local person named Jack became a legend when he tricked Satan for his gain one night. He behaved like a jerk his entire life and did every sin that you can name. So when he died neither, God nor Devil accepted him. He was left stuck between hell and heaven. Having nowhere to go, he lit a lump of coal and put it inside a turnip to use as a lantern, and hence the name ‘Jack-o-Lantern’ became popular. People then start to carve the demonic faces on turnips and pumpkins.

Trick-or-Treating

The kids’ favorite activity of asking for candies, by going to every door in their neighborhood and then giving a cute threat to whoever refuses them, has a deep background. In Samhain’s rituals, poor adults and children used to go door-to-door in spooky costumes, asking for food in return for prayers. So, call today’s trick-or-treat an imitation of these beggars. 

Another belief is that it is originated from the time when people were asked to style as saints and read verses in their area. Kids were then used to ask ‘soul cakes’ from people. This trend then got extreme fame in America in the mid-’90s, and families started to stock up candies. Whenever they hear a knock, they knew it’s the little prankers, and giving them candies is the only way to dodge their stunts.

Over some time, Halloween has transformed into a day of celebrations and parties where people take part in different games. Kids ace their favorite Akira Jacket while munching on candies. It has become a day where people spend time with their loved ones and cherish their company. So, dress up in your favorite costume now and enjoy a glass of Pumpkin Spice Latte!

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