The halloween history began long ago. The Halloween customs came from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celtic people lived about 2,000 years ago in an area which we now call Ireland, the United Kingdom, and France. The festival of Samhain marked the end of summer, the harvest season, and the beginning of their new year. The Celtic people believed that on the night of October 31st , the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. They built huge bonfires and dressed in costumes to frighten the ghosts. The Celtics also offered the ghosts good things to eat.
The modern customs of Halloween are similar to the customs of the Celtic people because many immigrants came to America and brought their beliefs and traditions with them. The carving of a Jack-O-Lantern is thought to come from the tradition of Irish children. They would carve potatoes or turnips and light them for their Halloween celebrations. The name Jack came from an Irish man who people thought was so wicked neither heaven or the devil wanted him. Jack is thought to have roamed the earth looking for a place to rest. Trick or Treating is thought to have come from the English people when they celebrated the religious festival of "All Saints Day."
On this day, the poor would beg for food and would be given "Soul Cakes" to pray for the souls of the relatives of rich people. Halloween in America is celebrated on October 31st. The celebrations are held in towns, schools, churches, and homes. Most children still dress in costumes and continue to trick or treat in safe neighborhoods or attend festivals at churches or schools. Halloween celebrations date back over two thousand years, originally descending from the Celtic festival "Samhain" -- a harvest festival marking the death of the old year and the beginning of the new one.
While the festival itself was one of joy, the Celts believed "Samhain" to be the "Lord of Death" who allowed spirits to return to their former homes on earth, only on October 31. As one of the world's oldest holidays, Halloween is still celebrated today in several countries around the globe, but it is in North America and Canada that it maintains its highest level of popularity. Every year, 65% of Americans decorate their homes and offices for Halloween...a percentage exceeded only by Christmas.
Halloween is the holiday when the most candy is sold and is second only to Christmas in terms of total sales. How people in different countries celebrate Halloween? In Austria, some people will leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table before retiring on Halloween night. The reason for this is because it was once believed such items would welcome the dead souls back to earth on a night which for the Austrians was considered to be brimming with strong cosmic energies.
The custom in Belgium on Halloween night is to light candles in memory of dead relatives. In China, the Halloween festival is known as Teng Chieh. Food and water are placed in front of photographs of family members who have departed while bondires and lanterns are lit in order to light the paths of the spirits as they travel the earth on Halloween night. Worshippers in Buddhist temples fashion "boats of the law" from paper, some of which are very large, which are then burned in the evening hours. In Czechoslovakia, chairs are placed by the fireside on Halloween night. There is one chair for each living family member and one for each family member's spririt.
In different countries there are different ways of celebrating Halloween. But everyone have fun, scares others and send special Halloween horror greeting cards and e-cards.