Halloween Origins, Traditions and Superstitions

I don’t know too much about Halloween. In fact, I’m one of those people that hide under the covers or half close my eyes when watching scary movies let alone investigating a supposedly scary day. But admittedly (perhaps because now I have a young son), I’ve gotten really into Halloween and autumn in general over the past couple years.

I decided to look up the ancient origins of Halloween and found this website that says Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Spooky huh? Apparently (as the website goes on to detail), Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. Now whether this is all true or not, you have to admit it is absolutely fascinating and somewhat interesting for those of us who relish a great story.

Beyond the origins of Halloween, it’s incredible to see what a commercial holiday it has turned into, especially here in the U.S. Or even to see the traditions and superstitions it has left us with. Trick-or-treating anyone? I also have to fess up that I ran across a black cat in my neighborhood the other day and the unsettling thought of having bad luck did cross my mind. What about dressing in costumes or walking under ladders? We are full of traditions and superstitions, some fun, some scary and some just plain silly. But best of all, it’s the spirit this holiday creates within each of us to continue age old traditions and connect with both our past and future.

What about you all? Do you have any traditions, superstitions or thoughts on the origins of Halloween? I’m giving away a $10.00 Amazon or B&N gift card to one lucky commenter so please leave your emails! You have until 11:59 p.m. EST on October 31st to be entered into the random drawing.

Happy Halloween!

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17 Responses to Halloween Origins, Traditions and Superstitions

  1. Mary Preston says:

    We actually don’t celebrate Halloween, but I love finding out about it on the Internet.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  2. Pingback: Appreciating Halloween (TY-13) | A Kiss Of Bliss

  3. Leslie Stockton says:

    I just love your cover choices .. *whispers* i never win ..lol 🙂 have a great day Toni ..

  4. You did the same research I did-love the history of Ireland-very spooky for sure! We just have fun passing out candy and dressing up 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. lizaoconnorl says:

    My tradition is to put my car in the garage, close my drapes, turn off my lights and hide in the basement so monsters and their parents don’t show up at my door demanding I feed them unhealthy foods I cannot afford.

    It’s a wonderful tradition. You would not believe how long little gremlins will pound on a door before giving up.

    • Toni Kelly says:

      lol Liza, I was just saying today that one of my friends was one of those little gremlins when we were younger. It took forever to go trick or treating with her because she’d scream and demand that the people were home and hiding from us. I guess some of them were;0)

  6. Daryl Devore says:

    Halloween traditions changed after daughter grew up and moved out. But today – at our favourite diner- if you show up in a costume – you get a free cupcake. It’s amazing what I’ll do for a cupcake.
    Tweeted.

  7. Melissa Keir says:

    Thanks for sharing the history of Halloween. I used to get really excited about it when my children were young. Now that I have adult children, it doesn’t seem so much fun. We don’t get any trick or treaters where we live and so it is basically another day!

    melissa
    daringzoey at yahoo.com

    • Toni Kelly says:

      Maybe that explains why I’m so excited about it this year. My little one is almost two and he is fascinated!

  8. Great post. Thank you for sharing that Samhain was a festival meaning Summer’s End and not another name for Satan (as I was falsely taught). Our tradition is to dress up and go out to eat, then pass out candy and eat until too stuffed with sweets to want anymore 🙂

    Andrea
    andreaRcooper at hotmail.com

  9. Mary Roya says:

    Enjoyed the post. I love Halloween, the costumes, handing out the candy, the excitement in the air. In my research of Halloween I found that black cats were not evil or to bring bad luck. It is the opposite, it is to bring good luck. It is amazing had these sayings get turned around through the ages. I have stayed at two haunted hotels and never saw a thing. Our tradition is to dress up to hand out the candy. It is so much fun. My theme last year was spiders, this year skulls. roya-clan@sbcglobal.net

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