The history of Halloween is one of the most controversial issues in the world. I believe when this is understood accurately, it could change the way people look and celebrate Halloween.
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The Linguistic Definition of Halloween
The word Halloween is derived from the word hallows which means saints. So it is saints’ day. All Saints’ Day was also known as All Hallows’ Day and the night before became All Hallows‘ Evening or Hallowe’en”
How Did Halloween Start? And Why?
Halloween’s roots can be traced down to the ancient Celtic (A city in Ireland) festival known as Samhain, which was held on the 1st of November in contemporary calendars.
This festival was held because it was believed that on that day, the souls of the dead people returned to their homes, so people dressed in costumes and lit fires and candles to avoid and drive away the spirits of the dead.
In this way, popular Halloween metaphors and unusual images such as witches, ghosts, weird acts, and goblins became associated with this festival.
What is the history of Halloween in the West?
Halloween has been around for more than a thousand years. It was Originally a religious commemoration and a Christian ceremony. But it became increasingly a non-denominational holiday. And It turned into a civil ceremony over the centuries until its religious accessories disappeared. Today Halloween is considered a holiday for dress-up and fun, especially for children.
In the 7th century CE, Pope Boniface IV wanted to honor saints, so he created a special holiday for them. He named it All Saints’ Day. It was originally celebrated on May 13. But a century later, Pope Gregory III moved the date of the holiday to be on the 1st of November, likely as a Christian substitute for the pagan festival of Samhain.
The day before the saintly celebration Samhain became known. Though the holiday began in Celtic regions of Ireland in the United Kingdom then it moved to France. But in a short time, it quickly spread to other parts of the world. It is worth mentioning that The first American colonists in New England were forbidden to celebrate it for religious reasons, though it enjoyed some popularity in the Southern colonies.
By the 1800s, and during the fall festival- the seasonal harvest day- Some Irish immigrants inserted some of the Halloween elements and aspects in the festival. And They brought with them many Halloween traditions that remain until now.
What Are Halloween’s Weird Traditions and Ceremonial Rituals?
There are some rituals and traditions that are super unique to Halloween here are some of them:
1. The Custom of Trick-or-Treating
In this ceremonial ritual children dress up in weird costumes and outfits. They gather and appeal to gifts or candy from their neighbors. This tradition became popular in the United States in the early 20th century as Irish and Scottish communities reawakened the Old bad World custom of “guising,”.
This custom is based on the idea that a person would dress in costume and tell a joke, recite a poem, or perform some kind of tricks. He does that for nothing but in exchange for a piece of fruit or a piece of chocolate or any other gift. By 1950, trick-or-treating for candy and sweets had become one of Halloween’s most famous and favorite activities.
Today, candy sales in the United States have reached insane levels on that day. Halloween has become one of the biggest holidays for candy sales in the United States. Sales of candy and kids’ sweets are estimated to be more than $3 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.
2. Dressing Up Weird And Horrible Outfits
The most important ritual for the Celebrators is to dress up like a fairy wizard. The clothes the celebrators wear is so horrible that you can’t imagine.
They wear horrible and frightening accessories as well. And that’s not all, they also wear creepy frightening makeup. The movements they do when they walk are also terrible and frightening.
3. Lighting Fires to Scare off Evil spirits
Their false sick beliefs about evil spirits. Or as they think they are Satan’s soldiers made them act the most obvious kind of pagan. It Considers with no doubt a kind of charge of polytheism, which is one of the worst sins according to the Islamic faith.
Can Muslims Celebrate Halloween?
Actually no, Muslims can’t celebrate Halloween for several reasons mentioned in another article (Can Muslims Celebrate Halloween?) as well as the horrible and non-Muslim rituals and beliefs mentioned above.
In addition, According to the recent fatwas issued by prominent Islamic legal scholars and through consultation with Al Azhar Ash Sharif Foundation, and according to the four main legal schools of fiqh as the books of fiqh mentioned: “Asking intercession from… those in the tombs by praying through them and asking intercession is invalid and is an act of atheism.”