This Sunday, in many places on the planet the celebration of Halloween night will take place, the most terrifying of the year. Pumpkins, costumes, and candies: thousands of children are during these days finalizing with their families the preparations for a party whose origin is often confused.
Halloween or Hallowe’en is the contraction of All Hallows ‘evening (the eve of All Saints’ Day which is commemorated differently in various parts of the world). And although the Hollywood industry has made us believe through series and movies that it is a party in the United States, the truth is that its birth has nothing to do with America.
The celebration of All Saints came to the United States during the 19th century thanks to immigrants who arrived in boats packed with people from Europe. A large part of them were Irish Catholics who left for North America after a great famine broke out in the country around 1840. These people were the ones who brought the Halloween party to the United States, following the tradition of their ancestors.
The word Halloween dates from approximately the year 1745. However, its origin dates back several centuries, before Christ. It is an event that comes from a Celtic tradition in which rituals were performed far removed from the costume parties, pumpkins, and games that we all know today.
On October 31st, the Celtic peoples celebrated a before and after in their calendar with a festival called Samhain, a term which in Gaelic means “the end of summer.” Thus, on the last day of October, the end of the harvest season and the change of season were determined. In this way, Samhain became the most important pagan holiday in Europe. In addition to Ireland, it was also held in Scotland and the United Kingdom.
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