Halloween is one of the only times where you can eat as many junk food as you want and dress up and go ALL OUT!! Many people dress up and go Trick or Treating and see if they can get some free candy from complete strangers! What a great time! . All of this around me made me think that Halloween is about having fun, being something else and dressing up like maniacs!! That was what I thought Halloween was about before I discovered more about Halloween.
On May the 13th, ancient Romans believed that the dead would rise on that day so to prevent this from happening, they poured milk on their graves. This was called Lemuria until Christians christianised it and called it All Saints Day. All Saints Day was where people would acknowledge the most holy of dead christians and this day was actually so popular that they moved it to November the 1st which was the day after the Samhain (Sel-win) Harvest Festival to drain the life out of Pagan Samhain.
Samhain Harvest Festival then changed to All Hallows Evening as it was the night before All Saints Day then into All Hallows Even and now Halloween. November 2nd then was the date for All Souls Day to honour the departed.
Trick or Treating came from people who asked for soul cakes. It started on All Souls Day when priests told christians to pray for souls who were stuck in between heaven and hell, a netherworld called purgatory. Bakers would give their soul cakes, in return for prayers for souls who were trapped in purgatory. And if enough prayers were prayed for that certain soul then they would fly up into heaven.
Now Jack o Lanterns originated from a man named Jack who was so bad that he got kicked out of hell. So Jack would wonder around and when people would see a flicker of light in the night, some believed it was Jack. Another version of story, Jack one day tricked the devil by nailing him into a wall. The devil begged to be freed so Jack agreed to do so but with some conditions. Jack told the devil that he will free him if he doesn't harm him, just let him roam around. The devil took this deal and was freed. This is just two versions of the story. There are many more beliefs.