It will be surprising for most of the people to know that Halloween is not a Western or Christian culture but has its original root from Hindu religion. Previously called “Hallows evening”, later termed as “Halloween”, derives quite a few beliefs from Hindu religion and regional traditions as well. To understand how it has its root from Hindu religion is very complex because it dates back to very ancient times. We need to understand the history of Celtics people and Pagan religion for this matter.
Halloween is the festival of mystery, magic, and superstition. It is originated from ancient Celtic’s festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). Samhain is celebrated by ancient Druids – the priestly class of Celtic people. The Celts were the first Aryans who came from India to settle in Europe. Today they are based in Scotland, Ireland, other parts of the British Isles and Brittany in France. Ancient Celts were engaged in occult arts and worshipped nature. They worshipped the Sun God (Belenus) especially on Beltane, May 1, as their summer festival and worshipped the Lord of the Death on October 31 by the name Samhain, the original Halloween.
The Celtic New Year started from November 1. They believed that on the last night of the year, October 31, the Lord of Death gathered the souls of the evil dead condemned to enter the bodies of animals. He then decided what animal form they would take for the next year. The souls of the good dead were reincarnated as humans. It was also believed that those who died in the preceding year were allowed to return to their early homes for a few hours on this day to associate with their families.
This whole theory within Halloween, the belief of reincarnation to polytheistic Gods resembles Hindu religion’s philosophy which might have been deviated in some instance through time and reimposed as a new festival when being transported to West through many years. It might have also followed the belief of and inspired from regional folk customs and transformed into a new festival Halloween, which is now celebrated in the West as a popular festival.
Today, Halloween is celebrated among families and friends. Moreover, there are large events like partying like a new year celebration where they sing and dance with loud music. People mainly dress of different forms usually ghosts or different icons they follow or like. People also play ‘trick or treat’ by wearing a different kind of costumes where they go to the door to door asking for food or money or the most popular are the sweets.
The celebration of Halloween has been all changed during time. Whatever the reason today it is the festival to relish and enjoy. It is the festival of togetherness among closed ones whether it be family members, friends or co-workers. However, it is known that it definitely doesn’t have the root from Western or Christian Culture although largely celebrated by them.