As with many traditions, Halloween history is an ancient tradition and has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. A holiday celebrated in the evening of October 31st. Everybody is familiar with trick-or-treating, but other activities include bonfires, costume parties, visiting "haunted houses" and carving lanterns out of pumpkins.
The tradition started but England, but Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of Halloween to North America in the early nineteenth century. Other western countries followed suit by celebrating the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the United Kingdom.
Halloween is believed to be as old as the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia. Either way this make it well over 1000 years old.
The main idea of the practice is that the barrier between the 2 realms, that of the living and the dead, is at its thinnest point in the year and this is believed to make it easier for other worldly beings to "slip through". This would be the reason many people visit Haunted places during the festival, hoping the possibility of seeing a ghost will be increased!
The religious aspect of the tradition is Celtic, and involves practitioners making offerings to the Gods and honoring the spirit realm. It is only religiously practiced today by various traditions of Pagan and Celtic followers, but many people of other or no religions still participate in the activities of the evening, as well as eating classic Halloween foods such as toffee apples and cakes and sweets decorated as ghosts!
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