Halloween was not ALWAYS what it is today!
It actually originated as a Christian holiday. The feast of All Hallows included a 3 day Church tradition which eventually became a Holy Day of Obligation all across Europe by the 12th century, All Soul's Eve (Oct 31), All Soul's Day (Nov 1) and All Saints Day (Nov 2, initially introduced in the year 609). All Soul's was a time to pray for any souls of our loved ones who have passed but who may not have yet reached Heaven, and All Saints Day was to honor and ask help from any souls (Saints) who have already reached Heaven.
Tradition included ringing church bells for the souls in purgatory. In addition, "it was customary for criers dressed in black to parade the streets, ringing a bell of mournful sound and calling on all good Christians to remember the poor souls." "Souling", the custom of baking and sharing soul cakes for all christened souls, has been suggested as the origin of trick-or-treating. The custom dates back at least as far as the 15th century and was found in parts of England, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Italy. Groups of poor people, often children, would go door-to-door during Allhallowtide, collecting soul cakes, in exchange for praying for the dead, especially the souls of the givers' friends and relatives.
In the Middle Ages, churches displayed the relics of martyred saints and those parishes that were too poor to have relics let parishioners dress up as the saints instead, a practice that some Christians continue in Halloween celebrations today.
In some places a nocturnal Mass was said in cemeteries on Halloween night. Candles that had been blessed were placed on graves, and families sometimes spent the entire night at the graveside.
So CELEBRATE! And remember our loved ones who have passed!
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