It’s about time for all the little ghouls and goblins to make an appearance as we decorate our homes in spooky lights, faux spider webs, and the latest animated mechanical props lying in wait for the little ones to dare approach our front doors.
The origin of what we now call Halloween dates back thousands of years to the ancient Celtic festival of “Samhain”. The Celts were primarily from what is now Ireland, with a sprinkling of the UK and Northern France. November 1 was recognized as the beginning of the new year for the Celts. It marked the end of summer and the end of harvest season and began the long cold winter for the region. It was believed that the night before the new year represented a point in time when the worlds of the dead and the living could be crossed. Spooky huh!
The Roman Empire conquered this region allowing Roman rituals to mix somewhat with the Celtic traditions to celebrate the dead late in October. By the 7th century, Christianity and Pope Gregory III caused All Saints’ Day or All Hallows Day to be celebrated on November 1. The prevailing belief is that the church was trying to replace the Celtic Festival of the dead with a church-centered holiday.