Why Do We Celebrate Halloween on October 31?

G6 Stories

Halloween was born many years ago and is celebrated on the last Saturday of October. It was originally celebrated on May 13 but was moved to October 31 by Pope Boniface IV.


The word Halloween comes from All Hallows' Eve and means hallowed evening.

Halloween falls on October 31 because the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain occurred on this day.

Observers believed the boundary between this world and the next became especially thin at this time, enabling them to connect with the dead.

The early pagan holiday of Samhain involved ritualistic ceremonies to connect to spirits.

These ceremonies evolved into more lighthearted fun and games, like bobbing for apples, which became popular as a fortune-telling game in the 19th century.

People would look into mirrors on All Hallows' Eve to see their future and would write messages in milk and place them in walnut shells.

Many people dressed up as saints and recited songs or verses door to door on All Souls' Day, a holiday that evolved into trick-or-treating.

As for the costumes, they evolved too. They began as earnest tributes to saints but evolved into scary, spooky, funny, and creative costumes.

Halloween almost didn't make it to America because the Puritans disapproved of the holiday's pagan roots. But Irish and Scottish immigrants brought the holiday back.

Halloween is celebrated by the majority of people in North America. This year, we'll be enjoying candy and admiring our neighbours' decorations.

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