Trick or Treat

– Happy Halloween –

You would get to enjoy both here.. 🙂

I came across a very interesting story about the Celtic Festival here– It was after reading this one that I decided to research a bit on this spooky matter! I produce it again for all of my readers-

The foundation of beliefs that started thousands of years ago (maybe even before) with the Celts (whose New Year started on November 1). They had festivals that celebrated the end of summer and the beginning of the cold, long winter days. They believed that on the eve of their new year, October 31, the land of the living and dead became blurred and that ghosts of the dead returned to earth. There were celebrations with people dressing in animal heads and costumes hoping to scare away the ghosts.

Hundreds of years later, Christianity was taking over the Celtic beliefs and the church started a celebration; which came to be called All Hallow’s Eve that eventually became known as Halloween.

As time evolved, it became a time of celebration with Autumn Festivals and it was not until the mid-nineteenth century, that the Parties became popular and children started going from house to house asking for food or candy which eventually became known as today’s “trick or treat”..

It was the baby boom of the 1950s in America- that really started the Halloween tradition, that we know today. With just about every child old enough, donning a costume and celebrating Halloween through Parties and trick or treating.

This is a very edited historical accounting of how it came about. But it goes way back in history beginning in Europe.

Some people like to make the costumes for their children and paint their faces with all kinds of makeup to make them look like a ghoul or a witch, etc. Many children like to dress up as nice characters too, like princesses or fairies or characters out of their favorite movies or books. They look so cute!

But now most people buy costumes at the store. The stores are packed with costumes now and they are selling tons of candy. You wouldn’t believe how much candy is sold.

Wow Gayle- So nice to have found this piece. Thank you.


This is what I found here

It began over 2000 yrs ago with people known as the Celtics. They lived in what is today England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This was also the beginning of the Celtic new year, a time to give thanks to the sun god for the harvest.

  • Halloween
  • All Saints Day
  • All Hallows Eve
  • All Souls Day

Is a festival. It was held to honor the Samhain the so called “lord of death”. It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Samhain, lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals. It was a pagan belief that on one night of the year the souls of the dead return to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells and cause havoc toward those failing to fulfill their requests. Sacrifices were offered on this night to the dead spirits because it was thought they visited their earthly dwellings and former friends.

There was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of the good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise; but the souls of the wicked men were left to wonder in the space between the earth and the moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living.. But there were means by which ghosts might be exorcised. To exorcise these ghosts, that is to free yourself from their evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you.

Of Pumpkins and Joack-o-lanterns

In America it’s a pumpkin, but in Europe it was often a turnip, large beet, potato, rutabaga or even a skull with a candle in it. The fearsome face of the jack-o-lantern was representative of the god of the dead, Shamin, who would drive off less powerful evil spirits abroad that night.  As glimmering lights flickered over an English marsh or an Irish bog, people imagined dead souls had returned to earth. They would place the jack-o-lantern on posts and in windows to ward off the spirits of the dead on Halloween.

The word jack-o-Lantern is an abbreviation of “Jack of the Lantern.” Jack is another name for joker or Satan. In the Irish tale, a man named Jack was fond of playing tricks on the devil. Annoyed, the devil tossed Jack a burning coal from hell. With the coal in his “lantern” Jack was condemned to walk the earth forever searching for rest. The jack-o-lantern is a Halloween idol that keeps alive an ancient symbol of demonic superstition.

Of Witches and their Pets

A pagan practice that was not eradicated upon the coming of Christianity was witchcraft. The word “witch” comes from the Anglo-Saxon Wicca, or “wise one.” Witches were thought to be possessors of magic. Witches, who worship the deities of nature, have living talismans or symbols through which they derive their dark powers. They invoke evil spirits to enter the bodies of their talismans. Some have dogs, owls, snakes or swine for their talismans, but the most common are cats.

The broomstick is a symbol of the male organ (really..?), on which the “Witch” mounts and leaps high around the fields to “teach” the crops how high to grow (!!!!!) The notion of flying Witches relates to the fact that Witches believed they could fly great distances to their feasts, by smearing their bodies with ointments containing drugs. The drugs gave them psychedelic “trips” making them think they flew. (We really could have done without knowing this one- isn’t it? The illusion seemed much better. What is with the broom again? Well..)

Cats have been closely associated with mystery religion from the Egyptians to the Norse. But the Celts had a particular fear of cats, believing they were humans who had been changed into feline form by evil powers. The black cat particularly was connected to demonic powers. Black cats are the chief idol of the goddess of Wicca, Diana. In legend, she turns into a black cat to commit incest with her brother, Lucifer. Eventually the Druids themselves came to be regarded as witches. Witch hunting during Halloween became almost a national pastime in the colonial years of our nation. But that was yesterday. Halloween is regarded as the high “Sabbath” for practicing witches today.


This is what I found here

Halloween (or Hallowe’en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day, but is today largely a secular celebration. Common Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attendingcostume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, ghost tours, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, committing pranks, telling ghost stories or other frightening tales, and watching horror films.

Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folk- lorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in“. The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly “summer’s end”. A similar festival was held by the ancient Britons and is known as Calan Gaeaf (pronounced KĂĄlan GĂĄi av).

The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the “lighter half” of the year and beginning of the “darker half”, and is sometimes regarded as the “Celtic New Year”. The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.

Another common practice was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink.

The name ‘Halloween’ and many of its present-day traditions derive from the Old English era. The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even (“evening”), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Up through the early 20th century, the spelling “Hallowe’en” was frequently used, eliding the “v” and shortening the word. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mĂŠssedĂŠg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556.


I guess, it was much better in olden times. Celebrating Harvest and spooking people in name of ghosts.. 😀 Unlike today’s famine stricken countries- despite their economic development and idolizing terrorism.. 😩

This is precisely why I maybe loving the winter season- shhhh..!


About Olivia

Corporate worker, textile designer, writer.
This entry was posted in Festivals and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Trick or Treat

  1. lucykiss says:

    God WordPress annoys me sometimes! Just tried to leave you a message and it was so slow, I dunno if it published or not!
    I was saying thanks for visiting my halloween poem, and I did post for Potluck but was too busy to link in. I’ll use it another rally or something.
    Great post of yours here, and great images!
    Thanks again.

  2. lucykiss says:

    Hey, thanks for commenting on my halloween poem. I did post a poem for Potluck but never got around to linking it in as I was so busy with work and study. I’ll enter it maybe another Monday or one of the thursday rallies.
    Great info you put up here, and great images. Love it!
    Thanks again.

  3. Short Poems says:

    And you did a great job, very well done. Enjoyed it 🙂
    All the best

  4. shanegenziuk says:

    Wow what an amazing site. A visual delight backed up by a thoroughness that makes a regular mortal such as I somewhat awe inspired. Thank you.

    • Olivia says:

      Shane Dear,
      Regular mortal.. eh? haha
      Thankyou so much for stopping by. I too am a regular mortal as of now- but trying to become a little more awakened.. Peace and Love- xox

  5. Jamie Dedes says:

    Olivia, this is very, very sweet. Another party in a post. You seem to have a gift for it. I hope you had some fun with it.

    I believe in your culture there are also harvest festivals, but I don’t know what they are.

    Isn’t this one of the great things about the Internet. It opens up the whole world, and me just sitting here on my couch with my laptop.

    Good job. Sorry I missed it on Halloween.

    Hugs! Happy days …

    • Olivia says:

      You just so said it Jamie- Computers are indeed the blessings to all of us- It is this box that has connected me to you too.. 🙂
      The Harvest festival is known as HOLI celebrated in the end of winters.. Another festival called ONAM is celebrated down South at the end of summers.. It’s at times really wonderful to be staying in a big community with different people. That way it would be festival time almost all days-LOLsss

      Thank you so much for liking it.. Yeah- I intended to celebrate through posts.. 😀
      No way- no sorrys- apparently you have stopped by..

      Love and Hugs- xoxox

  6. fiveloaf says:

    congrats olivia on your BIG win! just received the news haha.. cheers!

  7. dan says:

    Fly away with me takes on new meanings after reading your post. So much information I now have to learn. Great job of researching!

  8. Kelly Hay says:

    Wow! This is my first visit to your blog and I’ve really enjoyed checking out some of your posts! And since it is, after all, Halloween – I really enjoyed reading this one! Thanks for all the research and all the imagery — the witches are particulary enchanting 🙂

    Happy Halloween!

    • Olivia says:

      Thanks a big bunch Kelly- I’ll be back at our site soon enough- my PC has crashed and hence the crisis.. Hope to stop by soon enough.. Loads of Love and Hugs- xox

  9. 2zpoint says:

    Holy smokies! you are a researching queen among mere girls. Some of these things are so amazing… who would have thought that way about a witch’s broom! and the Jack-o-lantern tale is new to me also. Great read I thoroughly enjoyed it! Have a happy Halloween Olivia!

    • Olivia says:

      Thanks a very big bunch..
      I so appreciate your compliment (basking in its warmth.. 🙂 )
      I enjoyed way too much putting all that together myself.. Broom- well.. well.. Wishing you too a very Happy Halloween.. xoxox

  10. Artswebshow says:

    it truly is an interesting tradition.
    Perhaps it’s the human curiosity about death that has allowed this to survive the test of time

    • Olivia says:

      Yes, that’s right.. I too am curious- and that’s an understatement.. Thanks for stopping by to put in your words here.. 🙂
      Happy Weekend.. Love xoxox

  11. buttercup600 says:

    You have done so much research and a wonderful job…so much I have not known!!! Loved it and you rock girlfriend. oxoxox

  12. Collin says:

    Great job Olivia. U have really worked hard on this. Nice research you have done. Also you have explained the stories very nicely. I love reading stories and believe me I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Scent of my heart says:

    I loved the story and the images you attached with your words! Great research, no wonder your mood is 24 cms lol … Thanks for sharing dear! Always very interesting and feeding the mind with beauty to read you! ♄

    • Olivia says:

      A very big HUG for liking this one.. Haha- my mood is super- charged cause of the festival- I happen to be the Diana.. LOLsss
      Queen if wiccan i.e., Loads of Love for your stopping by here.. 😀
      How did you make heart here- I loved it so.. xxx

  14. I ADORE this type of history! It adds to our own lives in deep ways!

    • Olivia says:

      I read your other comment about I going deep down in archetypal, depth psychology history
 Maybe that’s what showed here.. 🙂 I am glad I could put up something worth to know of- I learnt so much myself!! Hugs- xoxox

  15. Talon says:

    This was really fascinating, Olivia. Thank you for doing all that research and where do you get those amazing photos? They’re so neat!

    And now I’m wrapping my mind around the symbolism of witch broomsticks and the drugs they take to fly….lol!

    • Olivia says:

      Six long hours stuck up like a zombie on the computer gives this.. 🙂
      Those pics are obviously borrowed from sites (mentioned against the pics) I had to be careful to link them with teh corresponding lines!

      You said it Dear- Broomstick and the drugs- my mind floating already!!! LOLsss

  16. Jingle says:

    truly spooky here.
    what a thoughtful post…

    I feel it is in the air already.

  17. Bodhirose says:

    Well, you sure did accomplish your writing about this in a bigger way–it seems to me that you were quite thorough! I know that you probably did not celebrate Halloween, but it’s nice that you have this interest to learn about how it came about.

    Lots of love— xoxo

    • Olivia says:

      I mind seems to be too analytical.. (and the award to boast about oneself goes to Olivia.. yay!!)

      “Halloween”, I have always been attracted to- I watched a lot of English movies and read a couple of English magazines as a kid, so knew about this. I was so drawn to it!!
      In later years (read: while working in corporates) I did posts and costumes too!! Hopelessly enthusiastic I have been in celebrating some really different festivals- Halloween, Christmas included..!!
      Maybe those were the 1st simple inclinations to show that I was bound to emerge over the “religion captivity” I am happy that I have been successful to! Thankyou so much Gayle- Lots of Love to you too.. xoxox

      • Bodhirose says:

        Well, it is a fun time of year that’s for sure!

        I’m glad that I’ve been successful too over the captivity of religion!

        Love and peace,
        Gayle xoxo

        • Olivia says:

          That’s right Gayle.. aren’t we supposed to be spirits? and they are free- bird.. no tangible or even intangible things can tie them down.. 🙂

          Regards and Love Dear- xoxox

  18. Pingback: Calling all Ghouls to Party « Olivia's In- Mind Whirls..

  19. Bodhirose says:

    Wow, you did a lot of research, Olivia! Mine was a very condensed version. But you did a good job here if anyone is curious about how this holiday came to be.

    Happy Halloween! xoxo

    • Olivia says:

      Happy Halloween to you too Gayle- I am so glad you liked this- Although it’s not My festival per se (the geographical/bringing up/traditional/orthodox approach); I have been pretty enthusiastic about celebrating ghosts’ meeting!! Now you know why mom used to keep so disturbed.. LOLsss
      I did a couple of posts where I worked (Hutch/Essar Cellphones) almost on all the fests- including Halloween. I had so prayed that soon I do that in a bigger way- After 7 years, I am doing it here..!!

      All Credit goes to you- it was after reading your reply that I got the idea how to do and what to do.. Wanna laugh some..?

      Regards, Love n wishes xoxox

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