Since Halloween was just a couple of days ago, I thought that it would be a good idea for me to write a blog on the history of Halloween. The reason for this is because I didn’t actually know why we celebrate Halloween so it gives me the opportunity to learn something new and share my knowledge as well.

The origins of Halloween and its practices have both pagan and Christian origins (although mostly pagan) holiday,

The Gaels thought that Halloween was the time when the door between our world and the spirit world becomes weak, allowing spirits to pass through from their world to ours. This is why the Gaels left places on their table for spirits and even had food and drinks for them.

The idea of dressing up and asking for sweets came from Scotland, Ireland and Wales, where people in the 17th century would dress up in costumes and knock on people’s door. But instead of just asking for food, they would sing a song or read a poem in exchange for the food. I would definitely be more inclined to give sweets if the trick-or-treaters sang me a song or read a poem. Maybe we should reintroduce this element into Halloween, just a thought.

Also the wearing of the costumes were so that the evil spirits would mistake them for spirit and leave them alone. Personally, as a spirit, I’d be more offended if someone was dressing up in horrible, scary costumes trying to imitate me and would make me more inclined to attack them.

As for the Christian element of Halloween, the name Halloween came from the term Hallows Evening, which is the evening before All Saints Day (Nov 1st). The church set All Saints Day on this day in an attempt to stamp out the pagan tradition and they would pray for the souls to reach heaven.

So next Halloween, instead of just dressing up and asking for sweet, you should maybe write a poem or a song and offer them in exchange for the sweets.

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About Khadija

Hey, my name is Khadija, I am an English and History undergraduate student. I will be blogging about my year abroad in France. I am obsessed with History, especially Medieval History and love to read, hence the English half of my degree. Throughout the year I’ll be keeping you updated on all the excitements of living abroad, the differences and similarities to Leicester , and all the things I’ll learn living abroad.

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