Halloween is the most mysterious of all holidays. It is also surrounded by various superstitions. These mysterious customs and superstitions have been passed down for centuries. Here is a look at what is behind them.
Halloween originally was a Celtic festival called Samhain that celebrated the autumn harvest. At this festival, it was a custom for people to set places at the dinner table for deceased friends and relatives. This was only done for spirits deemed to be friendly. Today, spirits and ghosts around Halloween seem to be spookier and scarier.
This festival may provide clues as to why there is so much mystery surrounding the Halloween holiday. It began being associated as a time during the year when the veils between the world of the living and the dead grew thinner. The custom of going door to door for treats originated with the Celts as well. It was practiced during the first few centuries of Christianity. At this time, the treats were left at doorsteps to placate any spirits, witches or demons.
As time went on, people began wearing costumes on this mysterious day. The reason was to disguise themselves as horrifying creatures or spirits to keep from being attacked by them. The practice was also referred to as mumming. This, combined with leaving treats out for the dead was the start of Trick or Treating.
Another festival was originally celebrated by the Anglo-Saxons. It was called Blod Monath and meant Blood Month. This was a festival where livestock animals were slaughtered to serve as sacrifices. It is still unclear if the festival occurred on October 31st but it is believed that it had much to do with the evolution of Halloween.
Trick or treating was actually not done by American children until the early part of the 1900s. After this, it was not until the 1970s that the same practice began taking off again in England. It had to do with the influence of television and movies where Americans were seen trick or treating.
There are superstitions that include avoiding black cats. The belief is that this superstition originated in the middle ages. People were convinced that black cats were really witches that had transformed themselves. Other superstitions include avoiding stepping on cracks, breaking mirrors and spilling salt. These are connected with Halloween but most people will obey these rules to be superstitious just about any day of the year.
Halloween is among the most popular if not scary and mysterious holidays that there are. Even today, popular costumes include witches, skeletons, and ghosts. Marketing of the holiday has seen an increase in Halloween decorating. People will light their homes much like they do in December on Halloween. Haunted houses are a big draw on Halloween.
Most people observe Halloween only because it is such a tradition that it would seem odd not to. But, it was originally a religious pagan occasion steeped in mystery and eventually, it became rife with all kinds of superstitious practices and