The History of Halloween

One of the most beloved holidays of the year, Halloween is usually a festive time enjoyed by millions around the globe complete with fun costumes, spooky tales, and the consumption of copious amounts of candy. However, the true origins of this tradition remain a mystery to most.

Halloween has its roots in Celtic tradition dating back over two thousand years to the festival known as Samhain. The people of ancient Celtic Ireland believed that the veil between the living world and the spirit world was thinnest during this time of year, thus allowing easier contact between the living and the dead. Deceased loved ones and ancestors were invited to return to the home to visit with living family members while malevolent spirits were warded off. Many believed that by wearing disguises, costumes, and masks, unwanted/harmful spirits were kept at bay. This is how the tradition of dressing up for Halloween has remained with us throughout the ages. Granted, I doubt an evil spirit would be warded off by someone dressed up as a sexy cat or Baywatch lifeguard.

In pagan tradition, Samhain marked the end of the Celtic year and the beginning of the new one, similar to New Year’s Eve. As explained by

The perceptible, and apparent, decline in the strength of the sun at this time of year was a source of anxiety for early man and the lighting of the Winter Fires here symbolised mans attempt to assist the sun on its journey across the skies. Fire is the earthly counterpart of the sun and is a powerful and appropriate symbol to express man’s helplessness in the face of the overwhelming sense of the decay of nature as the winter sets in.

Now the sun has descended into the realm of the underworld, the forces of the underworld were in the ascendency. The lord of the underworld, unfettered from the control of the sun, now walked the earth and with him travelled all those other creatures from the abode of the dead. Ghosts, fairies and a host of other non-descript creatures went with him. The Lord of the Dead in Celtic mythology can be identified as Donn.

The Psychic Teachers discuss The Thinning of the Veil in this week’s podcast. Deb, a practicing pagan, outlines her traditions for this holiday, including hosting a silent supper (“dumb supper”-where “dumb” refers to being silent) in which food is served to loved ones in the spirit world. This tradition is believed to honor those who have crossed over.

Do you notice the thinning of the veil during this time of year?