Halloween dates back as far as the ancient Celtic era which was about 2,000 years ago. The Celts lived in Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France.
Halloween was celebrated as a festival called Samhain. This festival was celebrated at their new year which was the 1st November.
The festival marked the end of the summer harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter-this was a time of year which was associated with human death.
On the night of 31st October the Celts celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that ghosts of the dead returned to earth. Also, the ghosts caused trouble and damaged crops.
The Celts believed that the presence of otherworldly spirits made it easier for Druids (Celtic priests) to make predictions about the future.
To celebrate the event Druids built sacred bonfires, where people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to their Celtic deities (their Gods and Goddesses).
During the celebration the Celts wore costumes-typically consisting of animal heads and skins- and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration ended they relit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them for the coming winter.
By Georgie Crouch and Eleashia Humphries
Member since: 10th July 2012
Hi, I'm Sarah. I've lived in Heanor with my family for over 10 years and I'm passionate about our beautiful little corner of this historical county. If you know of something that's great about our area,...