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The Origins of Halloween.

Slowly but surely, the autumn crept in.
 
We're noticing shorter days, the fog coming out of our mouths in the morning, and the colors surrounding us everywhere we go.
 
Halloween inevitably belongs to October, and so we decided we want to know a little bit more about this holiday and its origin.

 

How it all started?

This holiday is celebrated every year on the 31st of October, and its roots go back to the ancient Celtic period. At the end of October, they would light bonfires and wear costumes to scare away ghosts and called this festival Samhain.
 
On the 1st of November, as the nights got darker and colder, the Celts celebrated their new year.
 
The night before, on the 31st of October, the Samhain festival took its place. Celts believed that during this night, the worlds of living and dead became one, and the ghosts could return to earth.
 
    
 
During the 8th century, Pope Gregory III. announced the 1st of November as All Saints day. Over the following years, All Saints day was celebrated in a very similar way to Samhain. The evening of the 31st of October was known as All Hallows Eve, and then later became Halloween.

 

How it became so popular in America?

Due to protestant belief systems in colonial New England, Halloween didn't become as popular as it did in southern colonies such as Maryland.
 
At the beginning of its not-so-long history in America, people shared stories of the dead, told each other's fortunes, or celebrated the end of the harvest season by singing and dancing. It also included telling ghost stories as well as making mischief.
 
The 19th century brought new immigrants, most of those coming from the Celtic land - Ireland. Under the influence of new European inhabitants, Americans began to dress up in costumes and started asking for money or food. It later became "trick-or-treat".
 
You may wonder how begging for food and money became a part of a tradition that started in Ireland. During All Saints Day, originally celebrated on the 2nd of November, as a day to honor the dead, the poor people begged for food, and in return, they would promise to pray for the dead relatives of that family.

 

Some interesting facts about Halloween:   

1. The word "witch" came from the Old English word wicce (wise woman)

2. Originally, people carved up turnips instead of pumpkins

3. Do you know why Halloween is symbolized by orange and black color? The black stands for darkness, and the orange for the harvest of autumn.

4. Europe doesn't celebrate Halloween like the U.S.

5. 1/4 of all candy sold in the US is sold during the Halloween

6. 18% of people dressed up their pets

 
  
 
 

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