Halloween Day Celebration reason : As a child growing up in an American suburb, as soon as the first leaves began turning yellow, scheming and planning for the best holiday of the year would begin. Costumes had to be dreamt up, parties had to be planned, and houses had to be decorated with spiderwebs, demons and zombies clambering out from beneath the front yard. It was hard not to salivate at the thought of all the free candy that would be passed out from the most generous neighbors on the night of 31 October.
2,000 years ago, the United Kingdom was a very different place, and much of it was inhabited by the nature-worshipping Celts and their mystical druidic traditions. This group of mysterious warriors had once spread across much of northern Europe, but had eventually been pushed back to the UK islands with the spread of the Roman empire. The Celts’ new year began on November 1, so the day before—October 31st—was marked by a very important celebration called Samhain.
Samhain was in honor of summer’s end, and the inevitable approach of winter, the cold, dark and dangerous season where life was promised to no one.
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Some of the traditions those Celts included in their Samhain feasting were huge bonfires to ward off any evil spirits and honor the Celtic gods, as well as wild costumes and frightening masks. Samhain was the day when “magic” was strongest, which included the ability to tell people’s future and communicate with otherworldly beings.
Halloween Day Celebration reason
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Why do we celebration Halloween Day ?
However, as mentioned, the sprawling Roman Empire had already chased the Celts back to the British Isles by the beginning of the first millennium, but they continued to push, both their territory and their cultural beliefs. Two other Roman holidays fell around a similar time, one to honor the dead and another to celebrate the harvest—Feralia and Pomona, respectively. Although the Celts still maintained their autonomy, the conflation of late-autumn holidays was already beginning.
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Fast-forward another eight centuries and a slightly different empire—Christianity—was overtaking the hearts and minds of the Celts in the UK. In the 7th century, adoration for Christian saints and martyrs was on the rise, and All Martyrs Day, to celebrate their sacrifice in the name of their beliefs, was moved to November 1. Christian control and influence in Celtic lands continued to spread, slowly attempting to curb the pagan practices and beliefs of these nature-worshipping warriors. About 1,000 years ago, the Christian church introduced a new holiday, on November 2, called All Souls’ Day, in remembrance of the dead.
To keep things straight, this means that there was Samhain being celebrated on October 31st by the Celts, while All Martyrs (Saints) Day and All Souls Day were celebrated on November 1 and 2, respectively, by the Christians. Remember, they were also attempting to eradicate pagan rites and traditions in the British Isles. All Saints Day was sometimes known by another name, All-Hallows, so the day before it became known as All-Hallows Eve, which gradually changed to Halloween.
Where is Halloween Celebration ?
Although getting free candy and dressing up like scary monsters may sound like it has a global appeal, Halloween is only widely celebrated in Ireland, England, the United States and Canada. With the rise of globalization, Halloween and its traditions have been broadcast to the world, so there are those who celebrate it in other countries, but purely on a secular basis, and rarely linked to the original traditions of the holiday.
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