Inji Al-Bukhari, Arts and Entertainment
Halloween or hallowe’en started as the traditional Celtic festival of Samhain when people would light bonfires and dress up to daunt ghosts, it originated the tradition. It was established by Pope Gregory III in the eighth century as a time to remember all saints. Soon, a number of Samhain’s rituals were adopted by All Saints Day. It was referred to as All Hallows Eve the evening before, and Halloween later. It is believed that the Irish immigrants who arrived in the United States brought over the traditions and over time Halloween has grown into a day of festivities such as trick-or-treating, festive parties, and donations which the US then exported to the rest of the world.
The end of summer and the beginning of the dark, cold winter days and nights were marked by this day, a time of year also associated with death. The Celts assumed that the line between the realms of the living and the dead would’ve been blurred on the night before the New Year. They were celebrating Samhain on the night of October 31, when it was claimed that the spirits of the dead had returned to earth.
The existence of the mysterious spirits made it possible for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions for the future. These predictions were an important source of comfort during the long, dark winter for a people absolutely reliant on the unpredictable natural world.
The Druids constructed massive sacred bonfires to celebrate the disaster, where people gathered to burn crops and animals as offerings to the Celtic gods. The Celts wore traditional costumes during the celebration.
Even though Halloween had its rituals and back then it was not child friendly. In our time now children get excited for this day so they could get to dress up in their favorite characters and run around to collect the candy they will be eating at night.
Halloween’s origins are frightening to tell our kids about. But it is also important to teach them some of the basic origins of the real story for this festive night.