Halloween is a night of costumes, fun and candy which happens only once on 31st October every year. Halloween celebration provides people with an opportunity to dress up in a scary manner. People have choice where to attend celebration, go trick-or-treating or remain haunted in houses. Every age group has a role to play in Halloween. Halloween tradition and celebration has got rich ancient religious beliefs, stories and history.
Origin of Halloween Festival
Halloween celebration was established over two thousand years ago in Celtic Ireland by farmers. Initially, the Halloween festival was known as Samhain by the Celtic farmers which meant end of summer. This was a time to forget about the summer and hope for a productive winter. Celts believed that October 31st was the specific day when the season of death came into contact with life season and thus allowed dead spirits to rise among the living.
During Halloween festival, Celtic farmers gave sacrifices and build big bonfires to chase away dead spirit in hopes for healthy crops that following year. Celts would as well wear masks and dress up in skins of animals so as to masquerade themselves as spirits. Christianity developed into dominant religion in the eighth century. In order to snoop away paganism believes in Celts, a Christian pope named first of November as “All Hallows Day” or “All Saints Day.” However, although the Celts acknowledged the festival, they still kept on their tradition and after a short while, the so called All Hallows Eve was changed into present Halloween.
Halloween Festival in United States
It was until the nineteenth century when Halloween made its way to United States of America. The rise of potato famine led to billions of unfortunate Celtic farmers and their families together with their cultural practices to move to the United States. This resulted to numerous changes in the festival. The animal skins dressed up were changed to costumes and Jack-O’-Lanterns replaced the big bonfires. However, the festival kept its traditions.
Nowadays, Halloween has become famous in the entire world, specifically in United States of America. Halloween has established itself as one of the most profitable festivals of the year. The day generates billions of dollars every year through selling of costumes, decorations, candy and even films with themes of Halloween.
The Halloween festival has undergone various changes over two thousand years ago. Despite all these changes, the fundamental basics developed by the Irish farmers have been persisted.