What Is Halloween? The Why, When &, Where of Halloween & Things To Know

What is Halloween
Photo: Splash News

Halloween is a celebration observed in some countries on October 31, on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Saints’ Day. It is known by other names as well like “Hallowe’en,” “Allhalloween,” “All Hallows’ Eve” or “All Saints’ Eve.” However most people call it just Halloween. Many who don’t know about it are curious to learn exactly what Halloween is. They also want to know the history of Halloween and why Halloween is celebrated. Don’t worry, we will tell you all we know about it.

What Is Halloween?

Halloween is celebrated on October 31, of every year. It is observed in several countries like the United States, Canada, England, and Italy. It is also celebrated in some Asian countries like Japan, Philippines and Singapore in a varied form. Halloween begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide. Allhallowtide is comprised of three Christian observances of All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day, which last from October 31 to November 2, annually. Allhallowtide is a period to “remember the dead, including martyrs, saints and all faithfully departed Christians.”

when is halloween celebrated

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Why Is Halloween Celebrated?

Halloween’s history goes back to the ancient religion of the Celtic tribes, who existed around 500 BC. These Celtic tribes were the ancestors of the Britons, Scots, and the Irish. The Celts worshiped nature and believed in spirits. Their main god was the sun and they celebrated two festivals around it. One of them was “Samhain” or “Saman” to mark the start of winter. They believed that at the end of summer, Samhain the lord of death, becomes powerful and overpowers the sun god. They believed that on October 31, Samhain gathers all the evil spirits who have died in the last year and allows them to visit the living. So, the priests would light great fires and offer sacrifices to Samhain to ensure that the sun would return after the winter was over. Villagers would try to appease the demons and goblins by offering fruits and nuts. If the demon was satisfied by the offering or treat, then it was believed that it would not trick the person or cast an evil spell. This is the reason why during Halloween, people give treats to children dressed as demons and goblins, among other things.

When Is Halloween Celebrated?

Halloween is celebrated on October 31 of every year as per custom. It is a celebration observed in a number of countries all over the world. It is celebrated on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Saints’ Day. All Saints’ Day is a festival celebrated on November 1 by the Latin Church of the Roman Catholic Church and some other Western Christian traditions. It is celebrated in honor of all the known and unknown saints. The celebration begins on the eve of October 31 and ends at the close of November 1. This festival is also known as Hallowmas.

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Where Is Halloween Celebrated?

Halloween is celebrated mainly in regions of the Western world, even though traditions differ in different geographical areas. In North America, Halloween is celebrated in the United States and Canada. In United Kingdom, it is celebrated in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. It originated in these regions and spread all over the world. In Europe, it is celebrated in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Italy, Romania, Russia, and Switzerland.

The surprising thing is that it is celebrated in several countries in Asia, as well. Halloween is celebrated in China, Japan, Philippines, and Singapore. It is not just the Westerners who live in these countries that celebrate Halloween, either. Now, even local people who are not Christian celebrate this festival. This is due to the steady spread of Western culture that is happening due to globalization and foreign trade.

where is halloween celebrated

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Spread of Halloween

Most people have been exposed to the many Halloween celebrations that occur in America. This is due to the fact that this festival is shown in American cultural products like movies, TV shows, and music videos. The number of Americans who travel around the world has risen sharply in the last two decades, especially due to global trade. In many countries, the children of these Americans study in schools that celebrate such American festivals. Children from other religions also study in these institutions, so many are also exposed to festivals like Halloween. So, there is a increase in the number of non-Westerners celebrating Halloween.

Fun Time

People often ask, “What is the origin of Halloween?” Halloween is a contraction of the term “All Hallows’ Eve,” the day before the feast of All Hallows’. Halloween is popular among both children and adults. In fact, the adults themselves begin acting like children because the festival spirit is so contagious! The main event for the children on Halloween is “trick-or-treating,” in which children, teenagers, young adults, and parents disguise themselves in costumes and go door to door in their neighborhoods. They ring the doorbell and yell, “Trick or treat!” to get a gift of candy or chocolates. Though most people celebrate Halloween in a good spirit, there is a dark side to the festival, as well. Some people indulge in vandalism on Halloween causing damage to people and property.

why is halloween celebrated

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Handing Down a Legacy

Thankfully, for most people Halloween is a festival to celebrate goodness and the importance of family. The entire neighborhood is filled with weird characters and each person’s creativity shines through, especially with some of their homemade costumes! Children love Halloween as they get candy and gifts from their parents and neighbors. It is also an opportunity to connect with one’s past as this festival originated well over 2,000 years ago. Children listen to the stories that their parents tell them and understand the concepts of good and evil. This is how legacy is handed down from one generation to another. This is important because as we go careening into the future we must be tethered to our past, as well. A big part of who we are today is based on who we were in the past.




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