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Origins of Halloween

Modern Halloween celebrations are a mixture of the traditions of many ancient cultures. The pagan Celts of Britain and Ireland celebrated Samhain on October 31 as the end of the season of the sun and the beginning of the season of darkness. It was believed that on this day the souls of the dead revisited their homes. Bonfires were lit to chase away evil spirits. When the Romans conquered Britain in the first century A.D., their fall harvest festival, Poloma Day, mixed with the traditions of Samhain to form a major fall festival at the end of October. After the spread of Christianity through the west, the Roman Catholic Church in 835 A.D. made November 1 a church holiday to honor all the saints. This celebration was called All Saint's Day or All Hallows and the day before it–October 31–was called All Hallow's Eve. The Halloween celebrated today includes all these influences.

Picture: www.arttoday.com


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