Halloween’s earliest trace is the Celtic festival, Samhain, which is the last day of the Celtic calendar; also known as summer’s end. Summer’s end is mark for end of harvest and the transition to winter which is important to the Celts because they live off of the plants they grow and the animals they raise. Halloween is often traced back to the Druids which is a Celtic culture in Ireland, Britain, and northern Europe.
The Druids believed that the spirits of the people who died within the previous year walked with the living during the night of Samhain. To encourage the sun not to vanish, Druids celebrate with a fire festival and danced around the bonfires to keep the evil spirits away. They still had hopes that the spirits of their loved ones would visit them so they left their doors open (University of Albany pg.1). Since not all of the spirits were thought to be kind, they left gifts and treats outside hoping that it would offer peace between them and also ensure that the next year’s crops would be plentiful (University of Albany pg.2). On this night it was believed that divination was more effective so then methods were made to find out who one might marry or who when a great person might be born or who might die. Celts told each other’s fortunes while wearing costumes, normally animal heads and skins. People believed that spirits could posses the living and so they wore masks...
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...ng journey back home. In some other villages they bring alcoholic beverages and salt because it is considered to be the spice of life. Many people believe that the scents of burning copal and marigolds are loved by the spirits and when burned, it invited the spirits back home (Tafaya).
I believe that these two holidays are often mixed up because of their origins. Halloween was originally celebrating the dead and offering peace and Day of the Dead also celebrates the dead. Halloween was more centered around all the Saints and Day of the Dead was for families to celebrate and visit with their loved ones. I feel that Halloween has lost its meaning over time and Day of the Dead hasn’t veered too off course from its original meaning. I can understand why the two are confused with each other but they are two completely different holidays celebrating two different things.
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