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Learn the origins and traditions of Halloween, an ancient pagan holiday that is today identified with costumes, candy and ...
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Modern holiday of Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain.
It is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture.
The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops.
The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, where the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown.
Costumes and masks were also worn at eh festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits of placate them.
The holiday is also referred to as “All Saints Day.”
Trick or treat!
Although the practice resembles the older tradition of “souling” in Ireland and Scotland.
The ritual begging on Halloween does not appear in English-speaking North America until the 20th century, and may have developed independently.
The jack-o’-lantern can be traced back to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a greedy, gambling, hard-drinking old farmer. He tricked the devil into climbing a tree and trapped him by carving a cross into the tree trunk. In revenge, the devil placed a curse on Jack, condemning him to forever wander the earth at night. This story has been passed down through generations of Irish families