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Who Celebrates Halloween?

Who Celebrates Halloween?

Today's topic: Who celebrates Halloween and where did the holiday come from?


@jointhecovn #halloween #history #daystillhalloween ♬ original sound - Covn


Halloween has roots in the Celtic festival Samhain. This was a pagan festival usually celebrated from October 31st to November 1st. Samhain celebrated the end of harvest season and preceded the darker time of the year. It's Celtic roots link it to Ireland.

Halloween became popularised in America by Irish immigrants in the late 1800s. Since then it has been modernised and Americanised, and is now the 2nd most commercialised holiday in the US following Christmas. 

The name 'Halloween' comes from old and Middle English. It comes from a Christian celebration named "All Saints Day", where the day preceding was known as "all hollow's eve". This, over time, got shortened to Halloween. 

It was thought that the barrier between the physical world and the spirit world was at it's thinnest during this time. This is why in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is also celebrated during this time of year. During this time, family members prepare meals and offerings for their deceased relatives, and have a feast in their honour. Festival attendees wear skull masks.

Halloween is celebrated most traditionally in the US, but is also enjoyed in Canada, Ireland, and the UK. Other countries such as Finland, France and Japan are starting to embrace Halloween as an annual holiday.

However, not all the world celebrate Halloween. For example, Jamaica has banned the holiday due to the country's aversion to black magic and associations with witchcraft. Halloween is illegal in Jordan, as is going to any Halloween events. Mongolia has also banned the holiday in 2018 and 2019. Halloween used to be banned in Saudi Arabia too, but now the ban was lifted in 2022.

Most of the countries that don't celebrate Halloween do so because of religious reasons. Although Halloween today isn't religious, its origins in Christianity mean that Jewish, Islamic, and Jehovah's Witness communities (as 3 examples) don't participate.

What's your favourite part of celebrating Halloween?

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