Halloween Celebrations Of Old Come October 31 and we all gather to celebrate All Hallows’ Evening or as we all like to call it, Halloween. Its origin lies in the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced as sah-ween) which marked the end of the harvest season. The Gaels thought that on October 31, the dead would come back to life and create havoc by damaging the crops. Therefore, people sacrificed animals, and carved fruits and vegetables to appease the dead. They lit bonfire to honor the dead and help them on their passage. But Christian missionaries in the first millennium A.D. tried to change this practice by converting their religion. The Celts practiced their religion with the help of their priests, Druids, who proclaimed themselves as scholars, scientists and priests. To wipe out pagan holidays like Samhain, Pope Gregory the First passed a new edict in 601 A.D. to his missionaries saying not to change the customs and beliefs, instead use it. For instance, if a group worshipped a tree, rather than cutting it down, bless it and continue worshipping. Therefore, November 1st was considered as the Christian feast of All Saints. As a result, Druids were considered devil worshippers and had to go into hiding. But the belief in travelling dead was too strong to be eradicated.
Story taken from: http://www.curioushistory.com/