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Goblins ghouls ghosts pumpkins costumes and candy Just what is the link between all of these staples of Halloween What transformed this pagan ritual into a commercial celebration With Halloween just around the corner lets see just how it evolved to what it has become today Thousands of years ago the British Isles were inhabited by the Celts About 2000 years ago November 1st marked both the first day of winter and the Celtic new year To celebrate the event they had the festival of Samhain which began on their New Years Eve as it were October 31 Because winter was closely associated with misery gloom and death back then they believed that during this time the spirits of the dead rose and ambulated among the living The Celts believed that the presence of spirits helped the Druids make predictions about the future but feared that these spirits could harm the crops and cause all sorts of trouble For this reason it was important to make good with the otherworldly specters So people would place food outside their doors to attract good spirits In order to keep the bad ones away the Celts would wear scary masks a tradition that continues to this day Druids would also light bonfires to keep them from playing tricks on humans Years later when the Roman Empire conquered the British Isles they tried to add a few of their own traditions to the Samhain celebration most notably by making the festival about their goddesses To this day it is believed that the bobbing apple party game is directly influenced by Pomona the Roman goddess of fruit and trees During the Middle Ages when Christianity was being implemented in the Celtic lands Pope Boniface IV proclaimed November 1st All Saints Day a time to pay tribute to those martyrs and saints without designated holidays At that time the Church was fearful of pagan ceremonies and wanted to put into practice
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