Why Is Halloween Celebrated? The Purpose And When Did It Start?
This year, Halloween occurs on Thursday, October 31 and people throughout the UK are already getting ready for it. From selecting Halloween-themed décor for their homes, to buying the children’s costumes and adding the scariest movies they can find to their Netflix watch list, preparing for Halloween can be almost as fun and exciting as the holiday itself. But what is the story behind one of our most favourite holidays? Where does Halloween come from and when did it start?
If you are wondering why we celebrate Halloween, keep reading as we share the history of the holiday and how it has become a favourite of ours here at Mollie & Fred.
Where Did Halloween Come From?
Halloween originated more than 2000 years ago in in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. During Samhain(pronounced sow-in), people would light bonfires in the center of their villages and wear costumes in an attempt to ward off evil spirits.
The festival was used to celebrate the new year which began on 1 November. It also signified the end of summer and the great harvest as people welcomed in winter. The belief was that the night before the new year was a special time of year when the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead became blurred and the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
This also meant that evil spirits would destroy crops, cast trouble upon the living and make it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. This is where the bonfires came into play as the fires would be used to burn crops and animals as sacrifice to the Celtic deities. When the celebration was over, the villagers would re-light their hearth fires from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.
All Saints' Day
Then, in 609 A.D., Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honour all saints and incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain to create All Saints Day. The night before, 31 October, being called All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Eventually, other activities and traditions were added to Halloween including carving jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating, festive gatherings and eating sweet treats.
Contact Mollie & Fred
To learn more about why we celebrate Halloween, or any of our top Halloween-themed décor for 2019, contact Mollie & Fred and shop a wide range of high quality, affordable gifts that your friends, family and loved ones will truly appreciate.
If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it on your favourite social media sites.