Origin of Halloween: Relation between Samhain, All Saints Day

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Halloween is a festival that is celebrated for centuries now. People dressed up horror costumes and makeups on face and all over body. To showcase an evil personality and being someone else on the day. But if you reach out to them why we celebrate halloween? Probably they won’t be able to answer. And honestly the theme of the festival is so uniques and interesting that no one rather cares much about why it is celebrated and where it came from. They are rather more interested in what to become on Halloween. So today in this life article we will be learning about Halloween origin and its relation between Samhain and All Saints Day.

What is Samhain?

source : samhain.lumenstreettheatre.ie

Back in times when Celtic people of Celts which is now known as Ireland, Northern France and Britain had a tradition to worship the dead people. This was done to keep the evil spirit away from the living and in peace. This tradition was celebrated on the 31st of October every year and was known by the name Samhain.

Samhain was actually observed after the sunset of 31st October and ends at the sunset of 1st November. There were a lot of rituals associated with Samhain that includes feasting, building altars, dancing etc. It was also considered the end of Summer and Harvest season. Just like Diwali is also known as the end of Harvest Season.

What is All Saints Day?

All Saints Day
source : catholic-daily-reflections.com

In Christianity, All Saints Day is celebrated on every 1st of November. It is celebrated to worship and show respect towards dead souls. Previously All Saints Day was celebrated on the 13th of May which was shifted to the 1st of November overlapping the Samhain.

Rituals of All Saints Day include cleaning the graves, putting the flowers, going to church and lighting up the candles for the saints.

Relation between All Saints Day, Halloween, Samhain

Since November 1st was celebrated as All Saints Day, an evening before that i.e, 31st October was Samhain also known as Holy Evening or All Hallow eve. Hallow is an old word for Holy while eve is an old word for Evening. With time Hallow’s eve turned into Halloween.

Thus we can safely say Samhain the festival of Celtic people that was celebrated even before the birth of Christ, is popularly known today as Halloween.

In old times, It was a serious worship and respectful day and with time turned into a fun and party day. Halloween is also celebrated as Trick or Treat day where people try to trick other people and scare them or either they treat them with eatables.

Why People dress up like Ghost on Halloween?

Dogs dressed like ghost

Celtic people believe that during Samhain’s time, the gap between the real world and the spirit world is very thin. So dressing like ghosts and evil will scare the real ghosts and evils to be away from living people. Carving pumpkins is also a part of the same tradition to scare evil. Although in olden times turnips were used to carve while carving Pumpkin got popular in America.

Carved Pumpkin or Jack-o’-lantern


Carved Pumpkin is the most common thing you will even see if you are witnessing the Halloween celebration. But do you know that there is a story behind the Carved Pumpkin also known as Jack-o’-lantern?

Story Behind Jack-o’-lantern

It is the story of an Irish BlackSmith named “Stingy Jack” who was also a heavy drunker. One day in a pub, He met a devil who wanted to capture his dark soul. Although jack was drunk he managed to trick the devil with a deal. He asked the devil to convert it into a sixpence (a former British coin equals to six pennies) for his last bender (A glass of Alcohol). The devil accepted the offer and turned it into a coin. Jack just picked up the coin and kept it with a cross in his wallet.

Devil begged Jack to free him up with a deal to leave his soul for the coming 10 years. Jack accepted the offer while the devil quickly ran away from him.

After 10 years devil came back to Jack as of deal and asked Jack for his last wish. While jack played another trick and asked for an apple. Devil went up on the tree while jack carved a holy cross on the bark of the tree and trapped the devil again. Again the devil had the same deal of not bothering Jack for the next 10 years in exchange for his freedom.

After 10 years, Jack passed away from old age and his soul travelled to the Afterworld. Heaven truly didn’t have any desire to invite such a miserly and weighty soul of Jack. So holy messengers pursued him away in Hell.

The devil which was tricked by Jack recognised the soul of Jack and didn’t permit him to Hell. Jack started griping about how cold the external weather conditions but the devil realised the trick. This time and threw some burning coal and was deported from hell.

Eventually, Jack didn’t have an option. So he took the burning coal and put it into the turnip while roaming around the earth with it. Thus it is called Jack-O’-Lantern.

Irish after relocating to America spread their holy tradition and beliefs. While Americans replaced the turnip with Pumpkin which is a common vegetable in America.

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