The History behind Halloween

‘Trick or Treating’ and dressing up began in the 16th century in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales where people went door-to-door in costume asking for food in exchange for a poem or song.

Many dressed up as souls of the dead to protect themselves from spirits. It was thought this was based on the 11th century when Christians would go around asking for soul cakes (small round cakes) that were apparently to commemorate the dead.

The pagan Samhain (pronounced Sow’iin) marks the day  when the spirits of the dead could mingle with the living and generally is considered a way of honouring the dead.

Modern trick or treating is just following along from ancient customs.

The day after Halloween is known as All Saint’s Day, thought to be the Christian’s way of combining the ‘new’ Christian religion to another ancient Pagan festival.

Jack O’Lanterns were originally carved from turnips. Originating in 16th century Ireland, there are mixed stories about what they are supposed to represent although most seem to say they are intended to ward off evil spirits.

The Druids also celebrate Halloween with bonfires from which they take a torch home to light their housefires with. This was said to protect the home from evil spirits for the coming year.


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