Tracing down the history of origin of Halloween, it can be comprehended that there are links with paganism as well as Celtic Christianity. The Gaelic and Welsh influence is reflected as it was believed that at the inception of winter, the spirits of fairies could reach the world easily and become more active. It was also believed that souls of the deceased people came back. Bonfires came in vogue to ward off the harmful power of the spirits.
According to the Christian history, Halloween started evolving around 270 A.D. in Ireland where the night preceding the annual feast of ‘Samhain’ was celebrated. People would get attired in costumes which signified their aim to fool the evil spirits into believing that they were not human. With time, October 31 became an annual costume event to fulfill the mentioned cause. The Druids who were the ruling class of the Celts propagated the custom of dressing up as goblins, devils and witches and also keep treats outside the doors of the houses in a bid to divert the attention of the ominous spirits from the feast of the following day.
During the second century, missionaries of the Church visited England and Ireland and spread the holy word of the Gospel. The Druids were immensely intrigued by the influential preaching of Christianity. With time, people started converting to Christianity and their Celtic custom got amalgamated with their converted religion. Even the Christian monks were convinced that this was a way to spread the word of Gospel and do away with their superstitions of evil spirits and ghosts. Halloween also gave an opportunity to make the population accustomed with the Christian heroes in addition to the custom to reminisce the souls of the loved deceased. By the ninth century, the Roman Catholic Church embraced the Celtic tradition and at the word of Pope Gregory IV Halloween was to be celebrated all over the Roman Empire.
“Christian History of Halloween.” AllAboutGod. n.p., n.d. Web. 8 October 2013.