Although these days Halloween has become known for costumes, trick-or-treating and haunts, the history behind the holiday stretches far back in time, nearly 2,000 years ago with the Celts who celebrated Samhain between October 31st and November 1st. Eventually with the spread of Christianity, the Celtic tradition would be absorbed into All Saints’ Day (November 1st) and All Souls’ Day (November 2nd).
Interestingly, the Christian Church celebrated All Souls’ Day in a similar way to Samhain, maintaining customs such as building bonfires and donning costumes. The origin of the term “Halloween” is the Middle English word meaning All Saints’ Day, “Alholowmesse.” In time, the night before November 1st would be referred to as All Hallows’ Eve and then as Halloween.
From America to Asia, celebrations of this holiday have spread worldwide with countries commemorating the day in diverse and fascinating ways. Following is just a small fraction of what Halloween festivities take place. Continue reading “Celebrating Halloween Around the World”