Origins of Halloween

Halloween is about two weeks away. With the prep work that the staff is putting into the Stettler Public Library’s Halloween celebration, I got to thinking about the origins of Halloween.

Halloween is about two weeks away. With the prep work that the staff is putting into the Stettler Public Library’s Halloween celebration, I got to thinking about the origins of Halloween.

Using the databases at our disposal, I decided to do a little research using the Canadian Reference Centre database. It was amazing the information that I found on Halloween’s beginnings.

The origins of Halloween can be traced back 2000 years to the Celts who lived in Ireland, the United Kingdom and France at the time. The Celts celebrated the festival of Samhain on the first of November. It was on this day that they celebrated the end of the summer harvest and the beginning of the long months of winter ahead.

It was believed that on the evening of the night before Samhien, Oct. 31, ghosts made their presence known on earth. These ghosts were considered responsible for wreaking havoc in the natural world and destroying the crops. Even with the mischief that the ghosts could cause, the Celts trusted that the ghosts served a larger purpose.

The existence of the ghosts on that night allowed the Druids, the Celtic priests, to make accurate predictions of the future. These predictions gave the Celts a sense of protection and comfort in the upcoming months. The Druids organized bonfires where the community, dressed in costumes made from animal heads and skins, would gather to honour the Celtic gods and pray for protection during the winter.

Following the introduction of Christianity to the Celtic regions, Pope Boniface IV replaced Samhain with All Saints’ Day to honour saints and religious martyrs. It was also called All Hallows Day and the evening before All Hallows Eve, which became Halloween.

The Stettler Public Library will celebrate Halloween on Saturday, Oct. 31. Join us for a special Storytime, a Poetry Slam, Fear Factor Feed Off and another special event or two. Watch this column for futher details.

Don forget to stop by the Library on Wednesday, Oct. 14 for a piece of cake to celebrate Parkland Regional Library’s 50th birthday and Canadian Library Month.

To further celebrate Canadian Library Month, we are offering Food for Fines from Oct. 17 to Oct. 31. For each non-perishable food item, one dollar will be waived from your fines.

Just Posted

UPDATE – Amber Alert cancelled, Emma O’Keeffe has been found

Six-year-old girl with autism believed abducted at a strip mall in Saskatchewan

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year: Clearview superintendent

Division looks for new ways to connect with families

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

WATCH: 2010 Olympic architect John Furlong inspires Red Deerians at Chamber event

Furlong suggests Red Deer should get involved with Calgary’s 2026 Olympic bid

Researchers tag great white shark in Atlantic Canada

Information will be used to learn more about where white sharks move in Canadian waters

Mix-up of bodies leads to funeral home reforms in Nova Scotia

One woman was was mistakenly cremated, another was embalmed and presented to family members during a visitation that went horribly wrong

Stettler ‘champ’ celebrates War Amps 100th anniversary

Roan Heck, 9, returns from The War Amps 2018 Western Child Amputee Seminar in Winnipeg

Federal stats show slight increase in irregular migrant claims in August

113 extra people tried to cross the Canadian border last month

1st private moon flight passenger to invite creative guests

The Big Falcon Rocket is scheduled to make the trip in 2023, SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced at an event Monday at its headquarters near Los Angeles.

Most Read