Time to celebrate Halloween Night
It is October and it’s Halloween time
“Trick or Treat!” shout a little witch, paper-bagged goblins or a rubber-masked imps and bed-sheeted ghosts as they further extend a bag across for candy. It is October and it’s Halloween time!
Halloween is celebrated on the evening of October 31st, which is the evening before the Christian feast of the All Saint’s Day. Halloween’s history goes back to the ancient religion of the Celtic tribes (circa 500 B.C.) from who are the Britons, Scots and the Irish. Present day the Britains, Scots, Welsh and Irish are all descendants of these ancient Celtic tribes.
The Celts worshipped nature and is also believed in the spirit world. They have further worshipped over 300 gods. Their chief god was the sun and they celebrated two festivals revolving around the sun: Beltane, to mark the beginning of summer and Samhain or Saman to mark the start of winter.
The Celts believed that at the end of summer, Samhain, the lord of death becomes the powerful and overpowers sun god. On October 31, Samhain assembles all the evil spirits who had died the previous year and allows them to return home to visit the living.
On October 31, after the harvest, the druids would meet under an oak grove or near large stone circles where they performed sacrifices. Some believe that the Stonehenge in England is one such druid circle. The priests would light great fires and offer sacrifices to Samhain to ensure that the sun returned after the winter.
During the night of all the fires except the sacrificial one to Samhain were extinguished. The Vigil of Samhain, as it was called, would keep the sacrificial fire on through the night and the next day embers from this fire would be used to light the fire in each household.
Villagers would also try to appease goblins and demons with offerings of food and nuts. They would leave the little treats that the household had to offer, to satisfy the hunger of these demons. If the demon was satisfied with the treat, it was believed it would not trick the person or cast an evil spell. Therein lies the origin of the present day trick or treat.
Legend has it said that the people would also wear masks or other disguises and blacken their faces to try and pass unnoticed by the spirits. This stemmed from the belief that ghosts or spirits cannot see their own reflection. Hence, if a goblin or demon saw another creature looking suitably horrible, they would run away in terror.
How is Halloween today?
Today, Halloween is a festival of fun for kids. An occasion to dress up as little monsters, ghosts or witches. Over time the custom of adults dressing up as demons changed and the children took over. As they went from house to house they would knock at each house and cry “trick or treat”. People would then give the children apples or buns and later candy to keep from being tricked.