Halloween is Here!

Oct 30, 2023
Halloween pumpkins

It must be difficult to be unaware of the fact, but Halloween is upon us!

Perhaps you received a “trick or treat” visit or two at the weekend? There may be more to come tonight.

Ignore it, if you wish, but Halloween has become a fixed part of our calendar.

Have you ever considered how it began? And how it became what it is today?


Halloween was originally an offshoot of a Celtic festival called Samhain. It actually dates back some 2,000 years. It marked the end of summer and the harvest. It also marked the onset of the cold, dark winter, as well as the boundary between the world of the living and that of the dead.

According to ancient Celtic belief, on the night of 31st October ghosts of their dead would revisit the world. So, to ward off any evil spirits that might be roaming around, large bonfires were lit across villages. The priests (Druids) would have led the celebrations. They also ensured that the glowing embers of the bonfire were used to relight the hearth fire of each house. This would protect and heat the people during the long, cold, dark winter months to come.


When the Christians arrived in Britain in the late 6th century, of course they brought their festivals with them. Among these was All Hallows Day (or All Saints’ Day. This commemorates Christian martyrs.

In the 8th century this festival was moved to 1st November, probably to replace the Celtic Samhain.


What had been Samhain became “All-hallows-even” and, eventually, “Hallow Eve”. Then it became “Hallowe’en” and “Halloween”. Now, it tends to be children-orientated. Apple-bobbing is still quite popular and then, influenced by American traditions, “trick or treating” has really taken off. Dressing up ghoulishly has become customary too.

The pagan aspects of Halloween have never totally been replaced. Many still believe that the spirit and physical world can come into contact at this time, and magic holds sway.

I’ve never yet performed a Halloween ceremony, but I’m game to do so next year! Let’s have a chat!

Photo by David Menidrey on Unsplash