It’s that time of year again – pumpkins, costumes and bags of sweets fill the shops as they look to make more and more money out of a seasonal celebration – youngsters will be soon knocking on doors all over the estate “trick or treating” and hoping for a bucketful of chocolate and the like.
With a recent survey showing that most people celebrating Halloween this year in the UK aren’t even sure what its is all about maybe it’s time to take a little look.
There is still debate about the exact origins, but it is likely that Halloween (All Hallows Eve) has a number of separate origins:
1. The Celtic / Pagan tradition: Samhain (or Sawin) marks the end of harvest and the move into winter time. It is also regarded as a time to remember and celebrate the lives of our ancestors who have gone before us. Sometimes costumes were worn to help put off any evil spirits that tried to hang around the celebrations.
2. The Catholic / Christian tradition. In 835AD the then pope set 1st November as All Saints Day, although it was probably being celebrated by Christians who had come from the Celtic traditions long before that. Again, All Saints was a festival to remember all those faithful Christians who had died – All Hallows Eve (Halloween) marked to begin those celebrations.
For anyone interested, here is an interesting blog page about Halloween: http://www.mysticchrist.co.uk/blog/post/putting_the_horror_into_halloween
Whatever the origins – its now clear that the date is one where many young people (and some older ones) enjoy taking the opportunity to get into fancy dress and enjoy eating loads of sweets – at our house we’ve got our bowl full ready to greet any visitors, so if you’re out this year trick or treating with friends and family just remember: Be safe …. Show Respect …. and may God who brings light to all places be in our hearts.