It’s widely accepted that Halloween originated from the ancient Irish Celtic festival of Samhain which marked the start of a new year.
The Celts, who lived two thousand years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1st.
The people who attended Samhain believed that the dead made their presence known during the festival, and that they must be appeased or else they would cause trouble and hardship for the townspeople.
This led to the custom of dressing up in costumes that resembled evil spirits in order to placate them.
At Halloween when the veil between the living and the dead is at it thinnest, men would dress in white and blacken their faces to acknowledge the dead that they might not visit the homes of the living.
Similarly, it was thought that if you were to meet a spirit on your travels while dressed up they would accept you as one of their own and not be tempted to carry you away in the morning.
The Celts also believed that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future.
For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.
And if you need further proof that it has its roots in Ireland, the official name for a fear of Halloween is Samhainophobia!
Coincidence? We think not….