Halloween 2019 date and why we celebrate the spooky holiday explained
The spookiest season of the year is almost upon us.
Autumn is officially here and October has just begun, which means it is finally allowed to start talking about Halloween.
The creepy decorations and Halloween-themed sweets may have been in supermarkets for months already, but now it’s almost here.
Halloween may be a massive American tradition, but it has increasingly been incorporated into Brits’ lives.
Here we take a closer look at when it is, and why we celebrate it.
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When is Halloween 2019?
Halloween, as usual, falls on October 31 each year, which this year falls on a Thursday.
It's followed by All Saint's Day, which falls on Friday, November 1.
Why do we celebrate Halloween?
Halloween may be a huge deal in the US, but it still has historical significance in the UK.
In the UK the origin of the spooky holiday has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain.
The word Samhain means “summer’s end”, and was traditionally a celebration at the end of harvest season.
It also signified the “dark half” of the year was beginning.
The celebration was basically a way for the ancient Celts to say goodbye to the warm weather, and hello to shorter days.
The Celts also believed the “veil” between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest during the festival.
Samhain was deemed the perfect time to spare an extra thought for the dead, and even communicate with them.
On October 31 each year the Celts are believed to have made large bonfires in the villages to ward off evil spirits.
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When the Christians arrived they placed the holiday on November 1, but reserved it as a day to remember those who died for their beliefs.
The night before they held a feast to pray for the souls of the dead.
Halloween is still a time where many believe the spirit world can make contact with the physical world.
It is now known as Hallowe’en, All Hallows’ Evening, Allhalloween, All Hallow’s Eve or All Saint’s Eve.
In modern times children dress up in scary costumes and go “trick-or-treating”.
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Why do people go “trick-or-treating”?
The origin of trick or treating dates back thousands of years, when pagans dressed up in disguises to avoid being recognised by ghosts.
People left food and drink outside to protect their homes from evil spirits.
Gradually, those who celebrated the festival started to take advantage of the offering.
They would dress up, and go from house to house, asking for provisions in exchange for protection.
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