Halloween is celebrated on Oct. 31 in the U.S., but in the last couple of years the contemporary version of the holiday has become more popular in different parts around the world.
Currently, Halloween is being observed and celebrated with candy, costumes, pumpkins and parties, which differs from how it was celebrated thousands of years ago.
THE ORIGINS OF HALLOWEEN
According to the website History.com, what is known as Halloween nowadays
is a mix of pagan and Cristian celebrations.
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It is believed that Halloween has evolved from a Celtic festival named Sahmain that was celebrated more than 2,000 years ago in the British Islands, which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the winter.
In the past, it was believed that the longer nights of the winter would close in
the barrier between the living and the dead. The Celts celebrated this time
with a bonfire and would dress up in costumes to scare away the evil spirits.
When the Romans came to Great Britain and dominated the region for 400
years, the local traditions began mixing with the Roman festivals of Feralia
and Pomona, which celebrated the dead and would pay tribute with food.
WHY IS IT CALLED HALLOWEEN?
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III declared Nov. 1 as All Saints
Day to honor all saints and martyrs. This made Oct. 31 All Saints
With the passing of time, the English name for this celebration changed from
All Hallow’s Eve to Allhalloween and, finally, Halloween.
HALLOWEEN IN THE U.S.
This tradition came to the British Colonies more than 400 years ago,
although it was celebrated in a limited manner due to the strict beliefs of the
Protestant faith within the population at the time. Halloween was commonly
celebrated in Maryland and in the colonies of the South.
Later, in the second half of the twentieth century, with the arrival of millions
of Irish immigrants to the United States, the popularity of Halloween boomed
in the country.