The Importance Of Halloween

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Halloween, which is short for All Hallows Eve, is celebrated annually on October 31st. It was not always like the Halloween that we know of today. Many traditions, in which we see now, were influenced by Christianity and the customs of festivals dating as far back as 2,000 years ago. It is thought to have originated from one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals known as Samhain, which was celebrated in Celtic times across Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
The festival of Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or ‘darker months’, and also the celebration of the Celtic calendar new year. In preparation, cattle would be brought down from the summer pastures and some slaughtered in light of the coming winter months. It was also believed that around this time the mischievous spirits or pagan gods, also known as Aos Sí, and souls of dead family members,
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Mumming and guising, which closely resembles what we see today as trick-or-treating, involved visiting houses in costume or disguise to sing songs in exchange for food. If the people were not welcome, they would partake in troublesome behaviour such as throwing turnips and apples at houses. Costumes were also thought to be worn to disguise oneself from the harmful Aos Sí, in the hopes they would fool the spirits and no harm bestowed upon them.
Christianity also had a profound effect on modern day Halloween. All Hallows Day, which is celebrated on November 1st, is a holy day to honour all saints known and unknown and to pray for the recently deceased. All Hallows Day was originally celebrated on May 13th, but it is thought to have changed to incorporate the feast of Samhain as a way to share the gospel with the Celts. This then gave the pagan festival of Samhain the name All Hallows Eve which eventually shortened to Halloween.
Earlier Christian traditions mimic or are similar to the pagan customs of

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