It’s that time of year when the veil is thin and the eerie takes over. Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and disguise themselves with costumes to ward off ghosts. To outsmart these ghostly beings, people would put on masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would think they were fellow spirits.
That jack o’lantern you have on your porch dates back to the Celts. As part of their autumnal celebration, they wanted to light the way to their homes for the good spirits, so they carved faces into vegetables such as turnips and squash.
The Pilgrims banned the celebrating of Halloween in American due to its pagan roots. In fact, Halloween wasn’t celebrated here until 1845. One of the reasons for its resurgence here was the immigration of the Irish due to the Potato Famine of 1845-46 bringing the Druid holiday with them.
I admit, I love that so many of our traditions such as Halloween, Christmas and Easter come from pagan roots. They’ve been changed slightly, and most people are unaware of the origins, but I know and secretly smile.