According to history.com, “…the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, [was] when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween.”
Thus, we have this conglomerate of traditions, peoples, time, and belief to thank for our modern day celebrations – like separate pieces to the same jigsaw puzzle. It doesn’t matter what name we call this day, we’re basically honoring the same things.
October 31st represents a time of transition – both literally and figuratively. As we move from autumn to winter, we honor nature’s transition from life to death, abundance to scarcity, light into darkness. It’s the perfect time to remember our ancestors and enjoy community celebration – in all its myriad forms – for the final harvest of another *bountiful* year.
It’s my favorite holiday because, for me, Samhain/Halloween holds some of my favorite things – brisk air and sunshine, crisp golden leaves, close friends circled ’round a bonfire, shared stories and memories of loved ones long since passed, pumpkins and hot mulled cider, costumed children trick-or-treating from door to door, candied apples, houses decorated with ghoulish beasts or cackling witches, burning candles, crackling logs in my fireplace, and more.