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Halloween History

Halloween History

Halloween History

The origin of Halloween lies in the ancient Celtic religious celebration of Samhain (summer's end). One of the two greatest Druidic festivals (Beltane is the other). Samhain marked the end of the light half of the year and the beginning of the dark half.

Samhain is the Celtic New Year celebration. Beginning on the evening of October 31 (the Celts counted their days from sunset to sunset, just as the bible does). The festival would last three days (perhaps longer).

As with other holidays of the Celtic year, October 31 marked a mystical time when the usual barriers between our world and the Otherworld thinned and stretched allowing contact between human beings and the fairy folk and/or the spirits of the dead.

Many of the celebratory elements, such as playing pranks, originated in the notion that at this time the world was turned inside out prompting people to act with abandon against the usual social structures.

Fire is a central element in all the Druidic celebrations. All hearthfires were put out and new fires lit from the great bonfires. In Scotland, men lit torches in the bonfires and circled their homes and lands with them to obtain protection for the coming year.

Later, Christian elements came into play, as All Hallows' Day (all Saints' Day) and All Souls' Day contributed their own unique traditions to the core, such as trick or treating (collecting "soul cakes" on All Souls' Day) and dressing up in frightening costumes as protection against evil spirits.

At no time, neither in the Druid religion nor in the Christian was Halloween connected with the devil or devil worship. Modern Satanists have appropriated a holiday that is not their own.

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