The Origins of Halloween

Halloween is celebrated all over the world.  Halloween traditions include treat-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns and ghost stories.  But where do these traditions come from?  Here are a few Halloween facts from the folks at The History Channel. (credit: AP)
The Origins of Halloween Halloween is celebrated all over the world. Halloween traditions include treat-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns and ghost stories. But where do these traditions come from? Here are a few Halloween facts from the folks at The History Channel. (credit: AP)
Halloween is traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain.  Oct. 31 was their New Year’s eve where they believed the ghosts of the dead returned to earth that night.  They would hold bonfires, dress in costumes and tell fortunes. (credit: AP)
It All Started With The Irish (actually the Celts) Halloween is traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain. Oct. 31 was their New Year’s eve where they believed the ghosts of the dead returned to earth that night. They would hold bonfires, dress in costumes and tell fortunes. (credit: AP)
2,000 years later when the Romans conquered the Celts, they combined their own celebrations with Samhain.  Feralia commemorated the passing of the dead, and Pamona celebrated the Roman goddess of fruit and trees.  Her symbol was the apple and many believe this explains “bobbing” for apples at Halloween. (cedit: AP)
Bobbing For Apples 2,000 years later when the Romans conquered the Celts, they combined their own celebrations with Samhain. Feralia commemorated the passing of the dead, and Pamona celebrated the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. Her symbol was the apple and many believe this explains “bobbing” for apples at Halloween. (cedit: AP)
Later, the Catholic Church attempted to incorporate older rites with church sanctioned holidays.  Pope Gregory moved All-Saints Day (or All-Hollows in Middle English) to November 1 to coincide with Samhain in Ireland.  The night before was called All-Hallows Eve and eventually Halloween. The church also named Nov. 2 as All-Souls Day to remember the dead. (credit: VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)
The Name 'Halloween' Later, the Catholic Church attempted to incorporate older rites with church sanctioned holidays. Pope Gregory moved All-Saints Day (or All-Hollows in Middle English) to November 1 to coincide with Samhain in Ireland. The night before was called All-Hallows Eve and eventually Halloween. The church also named Nov. 2 as All-Souls Day to remember the dead. (credit: VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Trick-or-treating probably goes back to All-Soul’s day parades in England when the poor would beg for food in return for their promise to pray for the family’s dead relatives.  Eventually, kids started “going a-souling” in their own neighborhoods and would be given money and food. (credit: AP)
Trick-or-Treating Trick-or-treating probably goes back to All-Soul’s day parades in England when the poor would beg for food in return for their promise to pray for the family’s dead relatives. Eventually, kids started “going a-souling” in their own neighborhoods and would be given money and food. (credit: AP)
The History Channel says this dates back to when Celts and other Europeans thought ghosts came back to earth on Halloween.  They would dress up when they left their homes so the ghosts would mistake them as fellow spirits. (credit: AP)
Dressing Up in Costume The History Channel says this dates back to when Celts and other Europeans thought ghosts came back to earth on Halloween. They would dress up when they left their homes so the ghosts would mistake them as fellow spirits. (credit: AP)
This popular Halloween superstition probably goes back to when people thought witches transformed themselves into cats to avoid detection. (credit: AP)
Beware of Black Cat This popular Halloween superstition probably goes back to when people thought witches transformed themselves into cats to avoid detection. (credit: AP)
Jack-o-lanterns are traced to the Irish myth about “Stingy Jack” who tricked the Devil into sparing his soul.  When Jack died, God wouldn’t let him in heaven.  The Devil gave a Jack a burning coal to light his way.  Jack put the coal in a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth ever since.  The Irish call him ‘Jack of the Lantern’ or ‘Jack O’Lantern’.  Irish began to carve turnips and put them in their windows to ward off Jack and other spirits.  When the Irish came to America, they switched to the native pumpkins. (credit: AP)
Jack-O-Lanterns Jack-o-lanterns are traced to the Irish myth about “Stingy Jack” who tricked the Devil into sparing his soul. When Jack died, God wouldn’t let him in heaven. The Devil gave a Jack a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal in a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth ever since. The Irish call him ‘Jack of the Lantern’ or ‘Jack O’Lantern’. Irish began to carve turnips and put them in their windows to ward off Jack and other spirits. When the Irish came to America, they switched to the native pumpkins. (credit: AP)
Halloween used to be a time for matchmaking.  In Ireland, a cook put a ring in mashed potatoes on Halloween hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it.  Some women would eat a sweet treat made of walnuts and nutmeg before going to bed on Halloween hoping to dream about her future husband.  Another tradition said the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle. (credit: Newmakers/Getty Images)
Forgotten Traditions Finding A Husband Halloween used to be a time for matchmaking. In Ireland, a cook put a ring in mashed potatoes on Halloween hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it. Some women would eat a sweet treat made of walnuts and nutmeg before going to bed on Halloween hoping to dream about her future husband. Another tradition said the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle. (credit: Newmakers/Getty Images)

Latest Galleries

ArtJam Party “For the love of Arts” FundraiserArtJam 2016 For the Love of Arts Education was on August 27th, downtown, Sacramento ArtJam is the Friends of the Art Commission (Friends) signature fundraising event. This interactive party, in its second year is designed to engage attendees in art making and revelry. Proceeds benefit arts education in Sacramento area public schools.
The 18th Annual Race for the Arts and Arts FestivalThe Race and Arts Festival was on August 27th at William Land Park Race for the Arts is a nonprofit organization that raises funds and awareness and increases audiences for California nonprofit performing, literary, cultural, and visual arts organizations, along with school music, literary, drama, and art programs.
Off to the Races Food & Wine Tasting Fundraiser The Race for the Arts premiere event was on August 20th at the California State Railroad Museum. The 18th Annual Race will be on August 27th at William Land Park. Race for the Arts is a nonprofit organization that raises funds and awareness and increases audiences for California nonprofit performing, literary, cultural, and visual arts organizations, along with school music, literary, drama, and art programs.
Sacramento Region Business BBQ in the Vineyards and NetworkingBBQ in the Vineyards is the region's signature political event for networking. Many business, community, civic, and elected leaders attended the outdoor event at THE OLD SUGAR MILL, Clarksburg on August 18th. This event is a prime opportunity to connect with other members and the leaders who make decisions that affect your business. Region Business mission is advancing regional economic growth and vitality, promoting sustainable communities and creating jobs for the future.
Gallery: US Women's Basketball Team Wins Sixth Consecutive Olympic Gold Medal, Beats Spain 101-72US women's basketball team wins sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal, beats Spain 101-72.
Sacramento Railyards Grand Opening Celebration “The new roads will complete the Central City circulation system by providing close connections to downtown Sacramento, Old Sacramento, the Sacramento riverfront, the River District, and the future site of the 244-acre Railyards urban infill mixed-use development.” The ceremony was held on August 19th on the 5th Street Bridge and to celebrate the opening of 5th Street, 6th Street, and Railyards Boulevard. Event speakers included Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Councilmember Jeff Harris, City Manager John Shirey, Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty, and managing Partner of Downtown Railyard Venture Larry Kelley.
Former NFL Player Darren Sharper Gets 18 Years
Ryan Lochte At Rio Olympics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Sacramento

Tickets to aftershock now on sale
Follow Us On Facebook

Listen Live