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Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts and vampires. Today, Halloween has evolved into a celebration characterized by child-friendly activities, such as costumes, trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns.
The origin of our Western holiday known as Halloween is found in the ancient Celtic festival, Samhain (pronounced SOW-in). From present-day Ireland to the United Kingdom to Bretagne (Brittany), France, the ancient Celts marked this as one of their four most important festival quarter days of the year. Samhain commenced on the eve of October 31st, and ushered in the Celtic New Year on November 1st. The Celts experienced this as a liminal (threshold) period when the normally strict boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead became mutable. On the eve of Samhain, they believed the veil between the two realms was the most transparent, allowing the spirits of those who have died to return to visit earth...