The True History of Halloween

Halloween was originally called ‘Samhain’, which was an ancient Celtic festival where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off spirits. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III renamed the day to honor all saints, and soon enough All Saints Day combined the traditions of Samhain. On this day, October 31st marked the end of summer to the Celts. It was also the beginning of winter, a time that the people would associate death, where the boundary between the living and the dead blurred.

In 1000 A.D, the Church would make November 2nd, All Souls Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated very similarly to Samhain, and people would dress up in angels and devils costumes. All Saints Day was also called All-Hallows Eve, and then eventually Halloween. Halloween eventually traveled to America, and during the second half of the 19th century, immigrants of all kind came, especially the Irish, who were fleeing the Potato Famine at the time, came over and helped to popularize Halloween. Americans started to dress up in costumes and go from house to house to ask for candy, today called ‘trick or treat!’

But I know what you’re all really asking: How did Halloween, or All-Hallows-Eve, get associated with the Devil? Many Christian fundamentalists believe that because the Celtics worshiped ‘The Horned One’, which resembles the fallen angel Lucifer. But the Celtics were largely polytheistic, believing in many gods at once, and so had no idea of the Bible’s portrayal of Lucifer, the mortal adversary. Plus, the Horned One is a fertility god. There have been many attempts to outright ban the holiday altogether or to stop dressing up as devils and witches. But the idea that Halloween is a time for those who worship Satan is just a myth.

  ‘’Of course, it's true that Halloween practices - like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other holiday practices and rituals - have a historical context and make use of certain symbols, foods, music and so on. However just because there exists a long history of real, genuine witchcraft claims - such as those that resulted in the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692 - doesn't mean that any child who sees a green-skinned, pointy-hatted witch costume will become interested in magic or witchcraft, much less become a witch.’’ (Seeker)