BOSTON–This fall, appreciate more than just the carved pumpkins and cotton spider webs—by learning the origins of the holiday we have come to know as Halloween.
Halloween is traced back to the ancient religion of the Celtic in Ireland, to a festival known as Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season in the Gaelic culture. When Christianity spread to different parts of Europe, faithful worshippers tried to introduce ideas which reflected a more Christian mindset. As a result, Halloween has evolved into a combination of practices taken from both pagan and Christian traditions.As Christianity spread into Ireland and the surrounding Celtic lands in the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV established All Saints’ Day. It was intended to replace the pagan tradition of honoring the dead with honoring saints and martyrs and was originally celebrated on May 13. In 834 A.D., Gregory III moved All Saints Day from May 13 to November 1. For Christians, this became an opportunity for venerating all of the saints and holy ones who had passed on. October 31 became All Hallows’ Eve, ‘hallow’ meaning saint. Continue reading