in the Middle Ages
modern notion that Halloween should be banned because of 'evil
and satanic' influences - is, at best, a misconception.
check the historical facts:
the holiday's roots can be traced back to pagan practices, the
name 'Halloween' is purely a Christian tradition that began in
the early Middle Ages.
fact, permitting pagan traditions to survive was a stroke of genius
by the early christian Church.
Gregory the Great, in fact, sent his missionaries abroad with
the advice that if a pagan community worshiped a sacred tree,
for example, Christians were to attribute its mystical power to
Christ - and allow the tree to stand.
papal directive also lent itself to flip-flopping the spring festival
of Eastre - honoring a Saxon mother goddess - into a holiday
now known as Easter. The winter solstice celebration centering
around pagan sun gods now celebrates the Son of God's birth at
festival of Samahain marked the Celtic New Year when dead souls
were believed to walk the earth...
Halloween is a descendent of the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced
sah-een) or 'summer's end' in the original Scots Gaelic.
celebration held on November 1 marked the Celtic New Year when
dead souls were believed to walk the earth. 'Soul cakes' were
left out for good spirits and lanterns were customarily lit -
the modern version of the Halloween pumpkin* - to ward off stray
evil spirits that also happened to pierce the thin veil of the
underworld during this time of year. So deeply imbedded was the
Samhain tradition in the human psyche that it survived for centuries.
the eighth century, the church finally named November 1 All
Hallows Day (or the day of the holy ones) in honor of the
saints. However, two centuries later, the Church followed the
Samhain festival more closely by naming November 2 All Souls
Day in honor of the dead.
to the medieval custom of beginning observances the night before,
the collective holiday began on All Hallows Evening, or
native American pumpkin was unknown in medieval Europe. The original
European version of the jack-o'-lantern was a turnip.
More related resources to this article on the Web:
& Folklore of All Hallows
History Channel: The History of Halloween