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HALLOWEEN HISTORY

                       (National Geographic Video)


From communion with the dead to pumpkins and pranks, Halloween is a
patchwork holiday, stitched together with cultural, religious and occult traditions
that span centuries.

It all began with the Celts, a people whose culture had spread across Europe,
more than 2,000 years ago. October 31 was the day they celebrated the end of
the harvest season, in a festival called “Samhain”. That night also marked the
Celtic new year , it was considered a time “between years”, a magical time
when the ghosts of the dead watched the Earth.

“It was the time when the veil between death and life was supposed to be at its
thinnest”

On “Samhain”, the villagers gathered and lit huge bonfires to drive the dead
back to the spirit world and keep them away from the living. But, as the Catholic
Church’s influence grew in Europe, it frowned on the pagan rituals like
“Samhain”. In the 7th Century, the Vatican began to merge it with the Church
Sanctum holiday, so November 1 was designated “All Saints’ Day”, to honor
martyrs and the deceased faithful.

“Both of these holidays had to do with the afterworld , and about survival after
death. It was a calculated move on the part of the Church, to bring more people
into the fold .

All Saints’ Day was known then as “Hallowmas”. “Hallow” means “holy” or
“saintly”, so the translation is -roughly- “Mass of the Saints”. The night before
October 31 was “All Hallows’ Eve”, which gradually morphed into “Halloween”.

The holiday came to America with the wave of Irish immigrants during the
potato famine of the 1840s. They brought several of their holiday customs with
them, including “bubbing for apples” , and playing tricks on neighbors, like
removing gates from the front of houses. The young pranksters were masked,
so they wouldn’t be recognized. But over the years, the tradition of harmless
tricks grew into outright vandalism.

“Back in the 1930s, it really became a dangerous holiday, and there was such
hooliganism and vandalism . “Trick-or-treating” was originally an extortion deal :
“Give us candy or we’ll trash your house”

Store keepers and neighbours began giving treats or bribes to stop the tricks,
and children were encouraged to travel door to door for treats, as an alternative
to trouble-making. By the late thirties, “trick-or-treat” became a holiday greeting.

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Halloween History

  • 1. HALLOWEEN HISTORY (National Geographic Video) From communion with the dead to pumpkins and pranks, Halloween is a patchwork holiday, stitched together with cultural, religious and occult traditions that span centuries. It all began with the Celts, a people whose culture had spread across Europe, more than 2,000 years ago. October 31 was the day they celebrated the end of the harvest season, in a festival called “Samhain”. That night also marked the Celtic new year , it was considered a time “between years”, a magical time when the ghosts of the dead watched the Earth. “It was the time when the veil between death and life was supposed to be at its thinnest” On “Samhain”, the villagers gathered and lit huge bonfires to drive the dead back to the spirit world and keep them away from the living. But, as the Catholic Church’s influence grew in Europe, it frowned on the pagan rituals like “Samhain”. In the 7th Century, the Vatican began to merge it with the Church Sanctum holiday, so November 1 was designated “All Saints’ Day”, to honor martyrs and the deceased faithful. “Both of these holidays had to do with the afterworld , and about survival after death. It was a calculated move on the part of the Church, to bring more people into the fold . All Saints’ Day was known then as “Hallowmas”. “Hallow” means “holy” or “saintly”, so the translation is -roughly- “Mass of the Saints”. The night before October 31 was “All Hallows’ Eve”, which gradually morphed into “Halloween”. The holiday came to America with the wave of Irish immigrants during the potato famine of the 1840s. They brought several of their holiday customs with them, including “bubbing for apples” , and playing tricks on neighbors, like removing gates from the front of houses. The young pranksters were masked,
  • 2. so they wouldn’t be recognized. But over the years, the tradition of harmless tricks grew into outright vandalism. “Back in the 1930s, it really became a dangerous holiday, and there was such hooliganism and vandalism . “Trick-or-treating” was originally an extortion deal : “Give us candy or we’ll trash your house” Store keepers and neighbours began giving treats or bribes to stop the tricks, and children were encouraged to travel door to door for treats, as an alternative to trouble-making. By the late thirties, “trick-or-treat” became a holiday greeting.