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Samhain OR All

Hallows Eve

The True Story of Halloween

How Halloween began...

Ancient Celtic festival of Samhain

(pronounced sow-in = meaning Summers End).
People would share their crops for the long winter.

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that
is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern
France, celebrated their new year on November 1

How Halloween

Celts believed that on the night before the new year,

the boundary between the worlds of the living and the
dead became blurred.

On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain,

when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead
returned to earth.

How Halloween

When the Roman Empire conquered a lot of the Celtic

territories, the combined some of their Catholic
celebrations (All Saints Day) that honoured people who
had passed away with those of the Celts.

With the spread of migrants across the world, the

celebration of All Hallows Eve spread as well.

How Halloween

Halloween only reached America in the 1800s, as many

Irish people were trying to escape the Potato Famine in

This was then mixed with some of the rituals and beliefs
of the Native American Indians which turned into an
American version of Halloween.

Spirits and Ghosts

In the beginning, the spirits were not seen as evil or

A lot of people thought they would be old friends or
family coming to visit them again.
Some people even set places at the dinner table to for

Spirits and Ghosts

In modern times costumes, movies and the

way people think of ghosts has made them
seem scary and bad. (I dont think that is


Back in the Celtic times, people would dress up in

costumes made from animal skins and straw. They
would dance and put on plays to share stories with
other people in their villages and also to please their
gods (like to pictures above).

Later, the costumes changed they became scarier.

People did this to warn off any bad spirits.


However, in modern times people will dress

up in a number of different ways. Costumes
are now worn for fun instead of scaring off


People would also but different decorations around their

houses and villages to scare of bad spirits.
In modern times, people do it to make them more
spooky and fun for others.


A superstition is a belief that is not based on fact.

This means that you cant prove it is real, but you
believe in it anyway.

Some famous Halloween superstitions include:

Black cats people believed that witches could

change themselves into black cats (as well as owls
and bats) and it was bad luck to have
one cross your path. (Never been proved as true)


Jack O Lanterns - A burning candle inside a

jack-o-lantern on Halloween keeps bad spirits
away from your house.
(Never been proved as true)

Bobbing for Apples - believed that the first person

to pluck an apple from the water-filled bucket
without using their hands would be the first to marry.
(Never been proved as true)

Trick or Treat

In ancient times, it was called guising.

Children and poor adults wore
costumes and begged for food
or money.
In exchange they performed songs,
plays or prayers during the night
of All Hallows Eve.

People would also leave food and treats

outside their house for the spirits of family
and friends.

Trick or Treat

In modern times - Children in costumes

travel from house to house asking for
treats such as candy (or, in some cultures,
money) with the phrase "Trick or Treat.

If the people in the house do not give

the children a treat, the children might
sometimes play a trick on those people
or their house.

Interesting Facts
about Halloween

One quarter of all the candy sold yearly

in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween.

Americans spend an estimated $6 billion

per year on Halloween candy, costumes and

The colours Orange and Black for Halloween

comes from the old Samhain Harvest Festival.
Orange colour of crops and leaves (autumn)
Black the death or end of Summer

Interesting Facts
about Halloween

The word witch comes from the

Old Englishwicce, meaning wise woman.

Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.

Ireland is typically believed to be

the birthplace of Halloween.

Jack OLanterns were first made out of turnips

and still are in Ireland.

Now you know

Halloween has been around for over 2,000 years.

It was originally to celebrate the end of the
farming/harvesting season.
It was never meant to be a scary celebration.
Nowadays, people make a lot of money from Halloween.
Through migration of people and their beliefs, the
celebration of All Hallows Eve OR Halloween has now
spread all over the world.

The End