What is the meaning of Halloween, why do we celebrate it, and what is its name?
Halloween has Christian and pagan roots, though it is credited to the United States for commercializing it.
This weekend is Halloween, and there are plenty of ways to mark the occasion.
You might be getting ready to go out to a party, or you might just want to stay in and watch the latest horror films from the comfort of your own home.
Whatever way you choose to commemorate the spooky occasion, it’s a good idea to learn a little more about its roots, which are rooted in both Christianity and Paganism – here’s everything you need to know.
Halloween is always celebrated on the 31st of October, which falls on a Sunday this year.
It falls on the eve of All Saints’ (or All Hallows’) Day, and its name comes from “Hallows’ Eve.”
The word itself dates from the 18th century, and its original meaning was “holy (or sacred) evening.”
The religious observance, which dates back to the 4th century but was not moved to November 1 until 837AD, allows worshippers to remember martyrs and saints.
There has been much debate about Halloween’s origins; some believe it is solely a Christian holiday, while others believe it can be traced back to Parentalia, the Roman festival of the dead.
The most widely held theory, however, is that it has its roots in Samhain, a Celtic festival commemorating the end of the harvest season and the arrival of winter’s cold darkness.
Celts believed that the world was more vulnerable to spirits at this time, which had the potential to kill both people and livestock during the winter months.
Because of this fear, customs such as lighting massive fires and making sacrificial offerings arose to keep the spirits at bay.
Early Christian missionaries are thought to have held their own festival around the same time as the Pagan celebration in order to incorporate it into the Christian calendar and tie it to their existing All Saints’ Day.
Many people still observe various Christian traditions associated with the holiday, such as lighting candles, attending services, and praying for the dead.
Many of the customs have been passed down from generation to generation.
UK news summary from Infosurhoy.
What is Halloween, and why do we celebrate it?
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What is Halloween? The meaning behind the date, why we celebrate it and name explained