Halloween – the origin

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The night of Oct. 31st is celebrated with people young and old that dress themselves in costumes of many forms. As a child many of have celebrated Halloween by dressing up and then going house to house reciting the words “Trick or Treat“. As the children would have said that, the owner of the house would put in the child’s bag sweets of many kinds and also an apple or two. It was customary for sweets donated to the masked visitors were homemade like maybe a good apple pie.

The history of Halloween goes back many years and a lot of research has been done to discover its origin. Some scholars have traced its origin from the Roman festival that was dedicated to Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds or some say that it was associated to the feast of the dead called Parentalia.

But now, Halloween has been linked to the party Celtic Samhain. The name of this ancient festival, was held by the Gaels and Celt’s of the British archipelago, comes from an old Irish word that means roughly “the end of summer“. The end of summer was tied, to the Celtic calendar that was used 2,000 years ago between the peoples of England, Ireland and northern France, the new year then thus began on 1 November.

Only in time, precisely 840, the feast of All Saints would be officially established on November the 1st by Pope Gregory IV. The decision of this date was probably made to create a continuity with the past, which was now overlaying with the Christian holidays of that time. So now, All Saints is celebrated on the 1st of November. This date and celebration spread throughout England and Germany and later on continued in the colonies of England such as America, Canada and Australia. It can be also seen in the Spanish speaking countries as Mexico and Spain. Halloween is, also now celebrated in other countries in Europe such as France, Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Sweden and Germany. The holiday is celebrated, in the orient in such countries as China, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. One famous Halloween parade is that of New York which has reached its 42ndedition.