Gabby Head

All Hallow's Eve

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts lived over 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.


Celts thought that the presence of these spirits caused trouble and damaged their crops. This time of year, they would turn to their priests who were beleived to make predictions about the future. With winter coming, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction.


To commemorate the event, priests built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes.


When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the fast approaching winter.



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