The History of Halloween Activities

Crop faceless girls painting Halloween pumpkin in park

“Samhain” festival is a pagan religious festival. This festival originated from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition.

In modern times, “Samhain” is usually celebrated from 31st October to 1st November.

“Samhain” festival is celebrated to usher in “the dark half of the year” and welcome in the harvest.

During the “Samhain” time, people believe that the barriers between the “Physical World” and the “Spirit World” break down. Thus allowing more interaction between humans and citizens of the “Other World”.

The early pagan holiday of “Samhain”, consisted of a lot of ritualistic ceremonies. It was believed that by conducting these ceremonies people would be able to connect with the “spirits”. 

Many believe that the Celts celebrated “Samhain” in costumes as a disguise against ghosts. The Celts even enjoyed special feasts and made lanterns by hollowing out gourds, which are now known as “Jack-o’-lanterns”.

As time passed, Christianity took over. And the pagan undertones of the holiday were reduced. The basic rituals of the holiday became a part of pop culture every year. These rituals/traditions simply evolved and modernized.

The mystical rituals with time evolved into more light-hearted fun and games.

The concepts of connecting to the dead were replaced with light-hearted games, which would tell you about the future.

In the olden days, around the 19th Century, “Halloween” posed a huge matchmaking occasion for young women.

The “Bobbing for Apples”, has become popular as a “Fortune-Telling” game on All Hallows’ Eve.

Earlier “Apples” were selected to represent all of the woman suitors. The guy who would end up “biting” into the “Apple” which belonged to the woman suitor, would supposedly represent her “future husband”.

“Mirror-gazing” was also one of the well-known “All Hallows’ Eve” games/traditions.

In this ritual, people would hope to catch a vision of their “Future” by looking into the mirror.

There were even traditions of “Fortune-Cookie” being given out during earlier times.

In one of the rituals, people would write their messages on pieces of paper with milk. These messages were then folded carefully and kept inside the walnut shells.

These walnut shells were then heated over the fire. Because of the heat, the milk which was used for writing would turn brown. This would make the message mystically appear on the paper for the recipient to read.

Do let me know in the comments section below about –

The different games and activities you participated in this Halloween ?

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