The Samhain Festival

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Halloween is believed to have originated from an ancient festival of the Celtics called Samhain. During the festival, people would wear costumes and light bonfires to ward off ghosts and celebrate the end of summer and the harvest. Today, Halloween is celebrated in many different ways around the world, where many people take part in cultural celebrations. Ancient Celtics The end of summer and beginning of winter was a time in the Celtic culture that many associated with death. The Celtics celebrated their new year on Nov. 1 and believed that on the night before this day, Oct. 31, the boundary that separated the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. During the Samhain celebration, many Celtics believed that the dead would return to earth, causing trouble and destroying crops. The costumes and fires were meant as a deterrent to these spirits. Roman Influence on the Holiday In 43 A.D., the Roman Empire conquered most of the Celtic lands. They ruled the Celtics for over 400 years, during which time many of the Roman traditions were combined with the Celtic's Samhain festival. Two special days were celebrated by the Romans in the fall: Feralia and a day…show more content…
This day was moved from May 13 to Nov. 1 by Pope Gregory III. The influenza of Christianity gradually spread to the Celtic region, where it combined with many of the cultural rituals and festivals. Many believe that the Catholic church tried to change the ancient festival of Samhain with the celebration of All Souls Day in 1000 A.D., allowing the Celtics to still maintain their celebration with a holiday that was sanctioned by the church. All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with people dressing up in costume, bonfires and parades. Most of the traditional costumes were of ghosts, angels or devils and designed to keep the evil spirits

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