Why is Halloween celebrated?

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Why is Halloween celebrated?

Somewhere in between the start of winter and the tail end of fall, lies Halloween.

It is a celebration of both the fantastic and the superstition. Believed to have been originated from Samhain, an ancient Celtic festival Halloween is the time to rejoice both life and death. People dress up in elaborate costumes, engage in bonfires and prepare themselves to protect each other from the roaming ghosts.  

It is believed that in the eighth century, Pope Gregory III declared November 1 as a day to commemorate the great lives of all the saints and martyrs. Thus the subsequent holiday came to be known as the All Saints’ Day. This holiday lingered on to borrow some of the traditions and rituals of the festival of Samhain. The night before the holiday, October 31, was called All Hallows’ Eve, Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve. Later the day came to be known as Hallowe'en and eventually, Halloween.

It was also a traditional Celtic belief that during the chilly night of November 1, all kinds of evil spirits and demons roamed the Earth in a manner as if to welcome the season after their own heart - winter. People were of the opinion that these witches and ghosts rejoiced in scaring the humans by playing tricks on them. So to escape their malice, they would do either of the two: offer sweet treats to these demons in order to please them and avoid their wrath or dress up like them, in strange scary clothes to become completely unrecognizable.

Over the years, Halloween grew to be celebrated as a community-centred, secular festival. The most prominent feature was the themed play-acting and trick-or-treating, carried out originally by children. Sweet treats play a major role. So it is expected from neighboring households to play along and be generous and affectionate to them while handing out candies and treats when they come knocking at their door! However, in more recent times, Halloween has developed into a major event where even grown-ups and adults indulge in a night of unbridled joy and festivity.

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