Halloween-Origin of name

14 Jul

Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)”.The Irish festival’s name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly “summer’s end”.

halloween Eve

The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even (“evening”), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra halgena massedag, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556.

 

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