It will soon be Halloween everyone. I’m sure my book character ‘Gertie’ will enjoy this important day in all witches calendars!
Though we celebrate Halloween on 31st October each year, do you know why?
Well, here is a brief explanation!
Halloween seems to have its roots in the Celtic celebration of Samhain, the last day of the Celtic calendar. Samhain was a Pagan harvest festival celebrated by huge sacred bonfires in honour of the dead, marking the end of the Celtic year and the beginning of a new one. Fire often symbolised the power of the sun, or served as a defence against trick-bent spirits. Many of the practices involved in the celebration were fed on superstition. The Celts believed the souls of the dead roamed the villages on this night. Spirits were thought to assume grotesque appearances, and the tradition of dressing up like these spirits developed in the hope it would prevent the ghostly beings from causing harm. Some believed the spirits could be warded off by carving a grotesque face into a gourd or root vegetable and setting a candle inside it. Family spirits were welcomed home, but gifts and treats were left out to pacify less friendly ones, and to ensure the success of next year’s crops.
The word Halloween was first noted in the16th century and represented a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even (“evening”), that is, the night before All Hallows Day (now known as All Saints Day). This was a time when the boundaries between this world and the next were said to be at their thinnest, allowing the dead to once again walk amongst the living.
Today, many people who celebrate Halloween have no conception of its Pagan heritage. They see this day as a time to dress up in frightening costumes and host Halloween parties, while small children enjoy playing ‘Trick or Treat.’
However you celebrate Halloween, have a good one!