I have often wondered why we celebrate Halloween and so, I decided to do some research and share it with you. Here is what I found...
In the olden days, people used to celebrate New Year’s eve on the 31st October. It symbolized the end of Summer and the beginning of Winter.
This changed over the years and the church decided to use the 1st November as a special day dedicated to all the saints. This is now known as All Saints’ Day. The night before was known as ‘All Hallow’s eve’ or the night before All Saints’ Day.
Pagans celebrated a festival called Samhain on the 31st October. They believed that the veil between Earth and the Spirit World was thinnest on this night and they tried to communicate with their ancestors and deceased loved ones.
Nowadays, there is more emphasis on fun than fear as children love dressing up and going ‘trick or treating’ which is a modern day version of ‘Souling’. In medieval times, poorer people would sing songs and say prayers for the dead in exchange for cakes.
Halloween is also a time for superstition. Here are some of the most popular..
- Peel an apple and throw it over your shoulder - it should form the shape of a letter – this represents the first initial of your future spouse.
- Ring a bell to scare ghosts away
- Pour some salt on a piece of bread and carry it with you for protection as you travel on Halloween
- Put an apple underneath your pillow to dream of your future husband
- Carve a pumpkin and light it with a candle – leave outside your house to scare away evil spirits.
- Bob apple – put some apples in a bowl of water and try to grab one with your teeth. Don’t use your hand. The size of the apple represents the size of your future wealth.
Remember, all of these superstitions are just that – superstitions! They are not meant to be taken seriously. They are just a bit of fun for Halloween.
Have fun and be careful!
I wish you all a Happy Halloween,