Fact A Day

Fact a Day: October 1st

The Facts on Halloween (Harvest House, 1996), p. 5

 

What is the origin of Halloween?

  In A.D. 835 Pope Gregory IV designated November 1 as All Saints Day or All Hallow’s Day (the term Hallow refers to saints). The day before this, October 31, was known as All Hallow’s Evening [thus: Halloween]. Long before the church gave this name to the evening before All Saints Day (a celebration in remembrance of saints and martyred saints), it had been celebrated in various ways in many places around the world. One writer is correct when she observes that it “probably combines more folk customs the world around than will ever be sorted out, catalogued and traced to their sources.”* It is generally agreed that, in church history, Halloween took the place of a special day celebrated by the ancient Druids, who were the learned or priestly class of the Celtic religion.* The Celts were the first Aryan people who came from Asia to settle in Europe. In fact, we can see certain similarities between Druidism and the religion of India: “Celtic religion, presided over by the Druids (the priestly order) presents beliefs in various nature deities and certain ceremonies and practices that are similar to those in Indian religion. As in Hinduism, the Druids also believed in reincarnation, specifically in the transmigration of the soul, which teaches that people may be reborn as animals.”* *For full documentation, please see The Facts on Halloween.