The Origins and Traditions of Halloween
By Jane Lyle
Halloween is a feast of honouring the dead. It’s a time when spirits roam freely and the uncanny realms draw closer. And according to pagan belief, this isn’t just at Halloween, but throughout the haunted, dark winter season.
Halloween is actually a three-day Christian festival honouring the dead, and also the holy saints. It got all tangled up with Samhain (sow-in), which is the rural Celtic fire festival of summer’s end – a time when the harvest was done, and the animals brought down from hillside pastures for the winter.