The History of Halloween

Halloween came from the ancient Celtic festival Samhain. Samhain is an old Irish word meaning ‘end of summer’. Today, Samhain is the Irish word for November.

The festival of Samhain is said to be over 2,000 years old and used to celebrate the passing from summer to winter. For Celts, Samhain was a spiritual time. They believed that during the festival of Samhain the walls between this world and the Otherworld became less secure, allowing spirits to pass between the two worlds.

Many of our Halloween traditions like dressing up and pumpkin lights came from this Celtic festival. They disguised themselves using animal skins to protect against evil spirits on the prowl and lit fires to guide the good spirits during Samhain.

The 1st November became All Saints or All Hallows day, which honoured the saints and martyrs. This meant the night before was called All-Hallows Eve, which later became known as Halloween.

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