Did Halloween Originate in Ireland?

You may be surprised to learn that in fact, Halloween is Irish at Heart! In this post, we look at the origins of Halloween, in particular, the Celtic festival of Samhain. 

Halloween finds its origins in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain was an important part of the Celtic religion which was practised in Ireland and other parts of Europe. 

The festival was held at the end of summer when the Celts believed the barrier between our world and the spirit world was at its thinnest. The Celts also believed that this weakened barrier allowed powerful creatures from the spirit world to walk the Earth. To ward off the evil spirits, the Celts would hold large parties. 

The Christians adopted the Celtic superstition, and the day became known as ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ and was held on the day prior to All Saints Day on November 1st. 

This was the beginning of the Halloween holiday we know today. 

Halloween and Irish Americans

It was when Halloween hit America that the holiday really took off. Irish immigrants who moved to the United States during the 19th Century brought the custom and celebration with them. Throughout the 20th Century, Halloween grew in popularity and the traditions we know and love today were born. Pumpkin carving, trick or treating and the horror genre all became increasingly well-known thanks to their depiction in television, books and movies. 


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