Origin of Halloween, So They Say . . . .
It is believed that Halloween's origins are dated back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. These Celts, who lived 2000+ years ago in Ireland, northern France, and England, sued November 1st as the first day of their new year. It was honored as the end of harvesting and summer and the start of the cold dark winter, which was the time most often associated with deaths. During those days, the Celts thought that on October 31st, the line between the worlds of the living and the dead became a bit blurred. This was the night that they celebrated Samhain, which is when they believed the ghosts of the past residence returned to earth.
Advancing the Halloween Origin Story
Fast forward now to around 43 A.D., when the Roman Empire controlled most of the Celtic territories. During the four centuries or more that the Romans ruled over the Celtic lands, two Roman festivals were combined with the past Celtic celebration of Samhain. One was called Feralia, which was in late October when Romans commemorated the passing of the dead, and the second was a day to honor the Roman goddess of fruit and trees, Pomona. The symbol associated with Pomona was the apple, and the merging of this celebration into Samhain is how the "bobbing" for apples tradition is most often explained and is a big part of today's Halloween traditions. You can find some really cute bobbing apple invites in our large selection for Halloween parties.
The Religious Influence on the Holiday
On May 13, 609 A.D., in honor of all Christian martyrs, Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome, which is when the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established. Around 731, Pope Gregory III expanded the celebration to include all saints and martyrs and moved the date from May 13th to November 1st. However, by the 9th century, Christianity influence had spread to Celtic lands and began to integrate with the older Celtic rites. During 1000 A.D., the church made November 2nd All Souls Day, which was an official day to honor the dead. So at this time there were two holidays, All Souls Day and Samhain, which were both celebrated with parades, large bonfires, and dressing up in costumes as saints, devils, and angels. This holiday, All Saints Day, was later called All-hallows or All-hallowmas and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.
The American Halloween Origins
In colonial England, the celebrating of Halloween was very limited due to rigid Protestant beliefs. However, once it arrived in the U.S., it became much more popular, especially in Maryland and the southern colonies. The early celebrations included play parties, which were public events to celebrate the harvest, and when people would share stories of the dead, dance and sing, and tell each other's fortunes. By the middle of the 1800s, autumn festivities held annually were common, but Halloween, as we know it today, had not spread across the country yet.
In the second half of the 1800s, the U.S. had a surge of new immigrants primarily from Europe, who helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Copying from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house-to-house begging for money or food, which are the origins to today's "trick-or-treat" tradition. Around the 1900s, Halloween parties for kids and adults were becoming the most popular way to celebrate the day. By the 1920s and 1930s, it had become a secular, but community centered holiday, often with town-wide parties and parades. During the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young.
Modern Traditions Practiced Today
The tradition of "trick-r-treating" in America dates back to the early All Souls Day parades in Europe, when the poor would beg for food, and soul cakes were given to families in return for them praying for their dead relatives of the family. The church encouraged the giving of soul cakes as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving wine and food for spirits roaming around. The costume tradition has both Celtic and European roots. It was believed that on Halloween, ghosts would come back, and people thought that they would encounter these ghosts if they left their homes. So, to avoid being recognized by any ghosts, they would wear masks when they left their homes. We encourage you to view our large selection of colorful Halloween mask invites and read more about different celebrations for Halloween, latest Halloween designs, and the new trends and styles for Halloween stationery.
Embellishing Your Halloween Party Invitation Cards for Children and Adults
We all know that celebrating Halloween isn't just for kids. Our large collection of printable invites for these parties includes creative designs for all type celebrations, both young and old; child and adult. Simply search from among our hundreds of exclusive creations and then add your very on invite wording, type style, fonts, and ink color, and then preview it instantly. And, presto, that design with your own customized work now becomes your invitation cards. And, while shopping with us for your party invitations for Halloween, be sure and take advantage of our everyday promotions like 10 free cards, same day print and ship, free shipping, your proof within one hour, and many more.