All you need to know about Halloween celebrations
New Delhi : Ghosts, monsters and witches are out. The festival of Halloween is here. But do you know where it started and why is it celebrated?
Halloween is an annual holiday, celebrated each year on October 31, that has roots in age-old European traditions.
Halloween falls on the eve of the Christian festival All Hallow’s Day, so is known as All Hallow’s Eve, Allhalloween or All Saints’ Eve.
It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
The Celts believed that night between fall and winter (starting in November or Samhain) marked the night that the door between this world and the next was open and spirits could pass through, distinctions between the living and the dead became blurred. The presence of these spirits made it easier for the Druids – Celtic priests – to make a prediction about the future.
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honour all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween.
Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating and carving jack-o-lanterns. Around the world, as days grow shorter and nights get colder, people continue to usher in the season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.