Halloween’s origins date back to an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in) which was celebrated around 2000 years ago. The 1st of November is where the Celts celebrated their new year and it also marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of winter meaning dark and cold nights and usually associated with human death. The Celts believed that on the night before New Year (31st October) the border between the worlds and the living became blurred and on that night they partook in Samhain when it was thought that the ghosts of the dead returned to Earth. Furthermore the Celts said that the presence of otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priest to make predictions about the future. And during this time it came of comfort to the Celts during the long and dark winter.
By 43 A.D the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of the Celtic territory, and in the time that they ruled the Celtic lands two festivals of Roman origin were combined with Celtic traditions of Samhain. The first was called Feralia a day in late October when the Romans marked the passing of the dead. Then the second was a day to honour Pomona who was the goddess of fruit and tress. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practise today on Halloween.
In 1000 A.D. the church made November 2nd All Souls’ day to honour the dead. It is believed that the church wanted to replace the Celtic festival to a church sanctioned holiday. All Souls Day was celebrated similar to Samhain with bonfires, parades and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.
More information on the origins of Halloween is available in the source link.
Always make sure to stay safe over Halloween by:
- Locking doors after a Trick or Treaters have been to your house. This is because if someone does break in your house and the door is unlocked it will deem your insurance invalid.
- Make sure to remove any valuables from view of ground windows to avoid temptation from a potential thief.
- Look out the keyhole or window before answering the door if you are unsure who is there.
- If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours keep an eye on their house this Halloween to make sure that they are safe and secure in their home.
And remember the scariest thing this Halloween is being broken into and having your possessions stolen and no home insurance so contact us for a quote today!
Source: The History of Halloween