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Monday, December 28, 2009

The Origin of Halloween

Posted by patrick

By John Scott

Halloween is a holiday celebrate by thousands upon thousands of teens and even adults. While not every country keeps the Halloween tradition, hundreds of thousands of children can be found trick-or-treating in the United States and in many other especially those of Anglo-Saxon background. While some love Halloween, there are some who are just as passionately in opposition to this holiday. Interesting are the pagan origins of the celebration the history of which stretches back thousands of years to the ancient pagans who existed even before Jesus' day.

Here are some historical facts about the origin of Halloween:

Halloween's roots date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. It is said to have commenced with the Celts. The Celts lives around 2,000 years ago in what is now the United Kingdom, Ireland and northern France. The celebration at that time was on November 1 or October 31.

The idea was associated with the the beginning of the cold winter, dark and associated with fear of death. Celts had superstitious ideas and truly believed that on the night before, the boundaries between the world of the living and dead became blurred. They believed that the ghosts of lives of the dead returned to the earth or revisited their homes. In addition to the malevolence associated with these bad spirits, Celts felt that the presence of these spirits made it easier for the priests to predict the future. These prophecies were help much importance for largely illiterate, such as the Celts. They celebration took on sinister significance, with hobgoblins which were believed to be roaming about on that spooky evening.

People burned bonfires on hilltops to scare off evil spirits and demons, and people sacrificed both crops and animal sacrifices to pagan Celtic gods. Costumes were worn during these ceremonies, and they usually consisted of animal heads and skins.

The name Halloween has its origins in the Catholic Church. By the ninth-century, the festival had been influenced the mixture of paganism and Christianity that had become a part of Catholicism. Immigrants then brought the customs associated with Halloween to the United States, . These then became popular around the late nineteenth century. Halloween has always been a holiday of evil. Because of the forgoing reasons and the history of Halloween, many Christians of various genres, do not celebrate the holiday.

This article was written by John Scott, a writer who has a BA in Social Science from Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ.

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