Gray's Journal

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

History of the Spooky Holiday...Halloween!

Did you know that All Hallow's Eve, or Halloween as it's most often known as, is one of the world's oldest celebrated holidays? The holiday most known for costumes, trick or treating, jack o'lanterns and candy (lots of candy!) wasn't always the way Halloween was practiced.

Halloween's origins are thought to be from the ancient Celtic culture found all throughout Europe. Each year the Celts had a festival - Samhain (pronounced sah-win) - on November 1st to mark the end of harvest and the beginning of a new year. The druids, who were priests, scholars, poets, and scientists all at once, believed that ghosts and spirits roamed the earth at this time, and they lit bonfires as protection.

When the Romans took over the Celtic lands, they amended the day to honor their own deities. One of these, Pomona, was the goddess of fruit and trees and was represented by an apple. This may be why we bob for apples at Halloween parties today!

After decades of controversy by the Roman Catholic Church believing that this Celtic holiday was much too sacrilegious they changed the name to All Saints Day, or All Hallows - eventually transforming into what we call it today, Halloween.

This holiday made its way around the world before the United States took grasp in the 1920s. The translation of Halloween became so blurry that ultimately the holiday became known as a day to wear silly, spooky, or fantastical costumes and go door-to-door "trick-or-treating" for candy.

So enjoy this fun-filled evening full of festive costumes, buckets of candy and maybe even a trick or two. From all of us at Graylyn, Happy Halloween!

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