HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN
Halloween originated from an ancient festival known as Samhain, which is Gaelic in origin. It was a Celtic New Year celebration and was part of pagan worship to prepare for winter by slaughtering livestock and taking inventory of seasonal supplies. There would have been bonfires. The Celtics believed that October 31st was a day when the worlds between the living and dead dissolved. For this reason, they wore masks and costumes to placate or mimic the evil spirits they believed roamed on this day.
Halloween is an abbreviation for the term All Hallow’s Eve. Pope Gregory III and Pope Gregory IV worked to change the festivities by moving All Saints Day to November 1st and changing the focus of the festivities.
SHOULD YOU CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY?
While it is a personal decision if you want to celebrate Halloween or not, there isn’t anything inherently evil in enjoying going door to door with your child, who is dressed as Batman or Hannah Montana. Yes, the holiday does have a pagan beginning, but the meaning of the holiday has gone through such an evolution of change over hundreds of years that it doesn’t resemble the original Samhain celebrations any longer and is a holiday in its own right.
If the idea of celebrating an originally pagan holiday still does not sit right in your spirit, you can try some of the Halloween alternatives available in nearly every community. Many churches offer Fall Festivals. This typically offer trunk or treating (no witch costumes, please!), food, bouncies and even popcorn and cotton candy. Malls, theme parks and zoos also offer safe festivities, such as costume contests and candy collection points scattered throughout their premises.
Another option is to have a fall party at home for your children and their friends. Offer apple cider, apple bobbing, fall snacks and games.
With so many things to celebrate as the leaves change to brilliant golds, glorious amber and crimson red, you’re sure to find plenty of options for celebrating the season, whether you choose to participate in Halloween or not.