Parts of Halloween can seem so innocent – little princesses, superheroes, and lions going door to door for treats. But as Halloween celebrations have become creepier, many have started shunning the holiday completely.
To help you decide what’s right for your family, here’s what we’ve found about the real meaning of Halloween.
Why is Halloween on October 31?
Halloween falls on October 31 because of a pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety.
Doesn’t Halloween have pagan roots?
It’s true that the ancient Celts of Ireland and Britain celebrated a minor festival on October 31—as they did on the last day of most other months of the year. However, Halloween falls on the last day of October because the Feast of All Saints, or “All Hallows,” falls on November.
Where does the word Halloween come from?
The day before the Feast of All Saint’s was the feast’s evening vigil, “All Hallows Even,” or “Hallowe’en.”
Why do people dress up in costumes?
The French dressed up on All Souls, not Halloween; and the Irish, who had Halloween, did not dress up. How the two became mingled probably happened first in the British colonies of North America during the 1700s when Irish and French Catholics began to intermarry.
Why do people say, “Trick or Treat?”
November 5, Guy Fawkes Day, became a great celebration in England, and so it remains. During the penal periods, bands of revelers would put on masks and visit local Catholics in the dead of night, demanding beer and cakes for their celebration: trick or treat!
Guy Fawkes Day arrived in the American colonies with the first English settlers. But by the time of the American Revolution, old King James and Guy Fawkes had pretty much been forgotten. Trick or treat, though, was too much fun to give up, so eventually it moved to October 31, the day of the Irish-French masquerade.
How did witches become a part of Halloween?
The greeting card industry added them in the late 1800s. The Halloween card failed but the witches stayed.
The above is taken from an article written by Father Augustine Thompson.