The origin of Halloween is believed to be in Ireland, and is consider to be one of the world's oldest holidays. Another names for Halloween are Samhan, Summer's End, All Hallow's Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool and Snap-Apple.
The origin of Halloween its believed to come from the Celtic festival Samhan (End of Harvest in the Gaelic culture). During this festival, the pagans would stock their supplies and slaughter livestock for winter.
Also, Gaels believed that on October 31st, dead people was dangerous and brought troubles and sickness to the living, so during the Samahan, they would light bonfires and throw in them the bones of the slaughtered livestock and wear costumes and masks to placate them.
The Celts had a similar tradition, which is believed to be the real origin of Halloween on October 31st. They believed that Saman (Lord of the Dead), wold call the souls of the people that passed away that year to take them to the afterlife.
In order to make believe to the spirits that they were with their own, the living would wear costumes and masks, this way the spirits would not bother them. Another thing they used to do was organized parades to lead the spirits out of town.
Another tradition found from the origin of Halloween was to give food to Saman, to persuade him into be more tolerant while he was judging their ancestors, this is believed to be one of the precursors of the "trick-or-treat" tradition.
The Druids always passed on their traditions on oral form,so what we know now, comes most of it from Christians. which were always against this festivity, for it's black roots.
One example of this is that in Europe, during the Middle Ages, people used to throw black cats to the fire, because Christians believed they were friends of witches, but truth is that Druids believed black cats were humans that were changed as punishment for their evil deeds.
There were various opinions in Christianity towards Halloween after some time, while some think is an innocent holiday for kids to dress up and ask for candy, but other people reject it because it celebrate the occult and paganism.
Also, in an attempt to eliminate this celebration (which for the Celtics Neo Pagans was holy), Christians offered All Saint's Day as a substitute, but it was rejected by them.
During the Medieval Times and Middle Ages in Ireland and Britain, dressing up in costumes and ask for treats started to be a part of the celebration of Halloween, that was celebrated on November 1st, in those times it was called Hallowmas. During Hallowmas poor people would knock door to door to pray for the dead on All Soul's Day (November 2), in exchange of food.
With the migration of 2 million of Irish to America, was the origin of Halloween celebrations in America. During the 1850's, but the Christians traditions prevented that Halloween would become a holiday in America until the 1900's.
As a tradition for Halloween, the Irish would start to carve Jack-o'-Lanterns with pumpkins, to remember the souls in purgatory. This tradition started in Scotland and Irish using turnips. Another that took part of America society, on 1911, was the Guisin, in Kingston, Ontario. In 1927, the first time Guisin was called "trick-or-treat" on a newspaper in Blackie, Alberta in Canada.
The symbols of Halloween are based on Gothic and horror literature and horror films, also uses autumn elements, like scarecrows and pumpkins, and the colors that are traditional in this holiday are black and orange.
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