Straddling the line between life and death, winter and fall, paucity and plenty, Halloween is a time of superstition and celebration. Also commonly referred to as All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween can be traced back about 2000 years to a Celtic pre-Christian festival held on Nov. 1 known as Samhain, which means “the end of summer” and pronounced as “sah-win” in the Gaelic language, according to the Etymological Dictionaries of Indo-European.
History of Halloween
Since ancient records are fragmentary and sparse, the exact nature of the Samhain festival is not really fully understood. However, it is believed to have been an annual communal meeting held at the final stretch of the harvest year, and it was a time to gather enough resources for the winter season and bring back the animals back from pastures. Samhain festival is also said to have been a very special time of communing with dead people, according to historians.
The Celts believed that it was a day when dead spirits would cross over into the world of the living. Historians also suggest that such moments of transition during the year were always highly respected and thought to be supernatural and special.
However, some historians argue that there is no enough evidence to prove that Samhain totally devoted to the ancestor worship or to the dead.