Halloween is a holiday that is celebrated annually on the 31st of October in countries around the world. It is a time for dressing up in costumes, carving pumpkins, and telling ghost stories. But have you ever wondered what Halloween was called in ancient times?
In ancient times, Halloween was known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in). It was an important festival celebrated by the Celts who lived in what is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France. Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter.
During Samhain, it was believed that the boundary between our world and the spirit world became thin and porous, allowing spirits to pass through. The Celts believed that these spirits could cause trouble and damage crops, so they lit bonfires to ward them off. They also dressed up in costumes made of animal skins and heads to confuse and scare away any evil spirits that may be lurking around.
Samhain was also a time for honoring ancestors. The Celts believed that their ancestors’ spirits would return to visit them during this time, so they left food and drink outside their homes as offerings. They also set places at their tables for their deceased loved ones.
As Christianity spread throughout Europe, Samhain began to be replaced by All Saints’ Day or All Hallows’ Day on November 1st. The night before became known as All Hallows’ Eve or Halloween.
In conclusion, while modern-day Halloween may have evolved from Samhain, its origins lie in ancient Celtic traditions surrounding the transition from harvest to winter. So when you’re celebrating Halloween this year with your jack-o-lanterns and spooky costumes, remember its ancient roots as well!