Food for Soul

Halloween: History, significance and celebrations around the world

“It’s Halloween, everyone’s entitled to one good scare.” – Brackett,(Pixabay)Updated on Oct 31, 2020 11:35 AM IST

Halloween: Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is an annual celebration of all things spooky and fear inducing and takes place on October 31.

  • Hindustan Times, Delhi | By

Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve is an annual celebration of all things spooky and fear inducing that takes place on October 31. Children and adults around the world take this occasion to completely flip the normal rules of polite society and indulge in their more primitive selves. Halloween is one special occasion on which people are encouraged to let their freak flag fly high! Whether you indulge in the timeless ritual of trick or treating or prefer to chill out with your friends drinking pumpkin spiced drinks, this festival has something for all ages.

History and significance

The traditions surrounding this festival have evolved over the years and before it came to be known as the occasion to dress-up, cosplay as pop-culture references and stuff ourselves with candy, it was celebrated as a solemn occasion, one that was observed in honour of those that has passed away, including the saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithfully departed.

The origins of All Hallows’ Eve can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which was a harvest festival. The Celtics were a people that came 2000 years ago, and their celebration of Halloween was centred around the end of the harvest season and beginning of the cold winter months. Some even believe that this festival might be rooted in paganism.

The Celtics, who hailed from the modern day regions of Ireland, United Kingdom and northern France, believed that on the night of Halloween, the boundaries between the living and the dead were blurred, allowing spirits to cross over freely to the land of the living. The Celtics celebrated the coming of the new year on November 1, and to commemorate the event, the Druids or Celtic priests built large sacred bonfires around which people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices for the Celtic deities.


Through the course of the years, the rituals surrounding the festival have transformed in accordance with the modern day and the only ghosts and ghouls roaming the land of the living are the ones who go from door to door asking for candy. Families around the world decorate their homes in the most elaborate fashion to scare all passers-by.

Older kids and young adults who are too old for trick or treating amuse themselves with Halloween themed costume parties, where they dress up as their favourite characters from television or popular media. The more elaborate and awe-inspiring the costume, the better!

People partake in the ritual of carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, playing pranks on each other, visiting the nearest sight of rumoured hauntings and even the occasion ‘TPing’ of certain houses who refuse to celebrate alongside them.

However, you spend this vastly anticipated holiday, it is sure to get to you in the mood of the upcoming winter months and the joys of the yuletide that come along with it. With the current coronavirus climate, it is necessary to maintain all health protocols during the celebrations in order to ensure your own safety and of those around you. Happy Halloween!

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