Growing up in western Canada, October 31st was the night for wearing costumes, grabbing a thread-worn pillowcase from the linen closet to go door-to-door with streaming kids of all ages squealing trick or treat slogans without deference to the history of pagan rituals.
Now we have month-long archiving of horror movies on TV channels, and kids have their iPhones with them for safety, texting and mischief – far removed from rituals my generation held dear like soaping windows, and tipping over outhouses …
There is a lot of myth about this day – I wondered if I could find some fact.
From my research – internet and mainly Wikipedia, I found it is widely believed many All Hallows' Eve / All Saint’s Eve traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest celebrations – particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain. Pagan roots, but primarily Christianized) as Halloween by churches on the belief that when the barriers between this world and the next were down, the dead returned from the grave, and gods and strangers from the underworld walked abroad was a twice-yearly reality, on dates Christianized as All Hallows' Eve and All Hallows' Day. Spooky indeed.
There is much more – but realize carving pumpkins, apple bobbing, and bonfires were not invented by our last few generations; they’ve been around a good deal longer. The long and the short of it is, “remember the dead” and “eat candy.”