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Origins of Halloween

Halloween is a multi-billion dollar holiday in the USA. Films, television series, and books have celebrated the holiday for years. People all across the country dress up as their favorite characters and go trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods. What's not to love about it? You get free candy, and get to celebrate with your friends and family. But what few people know is the pagan roots of the holiday. Halloween's origins come from the pagan traditions of Celtic speaking countries before their conversion to Christianity.

Halloween began as the Celtic festival Samhain which was celebrated on October 31st. It was a fall festival marking the end of harvest. This seasonal festival reminds me of the Roman's Winter Solstice, since Christmas itself is based on a seasonal festival in ancient Rome. It seems that Halloween has similar origins to Christmas. Both holidays began as seasonal festivals for pagan cultures, which were eventually adapted by western civilization over the past several of centuries. I'm glad that certain traditions celebrated by Celtic culture were embraced by our western civilization and not completely disregarded or forgotten. After all, what's not to like about free candy?

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