It’s here! It’s here! No, not the snow, but Halloween! You already know that Halloween is celebrated across the world on the night of 31st October. But how did it all start and what’s its meaning?
The origin of Halloween
The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.
This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
So why do we dress up on Halloween?
As for why a lot of Halloween decor is a bit haunting in nature — that can be traced back to the fact that October 31 was once a day to both honour spirits, and ward off the less-than-desirable ones. This can explain why many of the costumes we wear are on the spooky side. Back then, most people dressed in super scary costumes to honour the tradition and to also scare away demonic spirits.
Today, Halloween costumes are a big business for companies. Some of the most popular Halloween costumes of 2019 include:
- It‘s lead character, Pennywise
- Fortnite characters
Drawing from different traditions from various countries across hundreds of years, Halloween really is a night in which things rise up from the past to mingle with the present.