Even older origin of Halloween

Published 10:00 pm Monday, October 24, 2016

To the editor:

Dr. Maxwell credits All Saints Day as being the inspiration for Hallowe’en, (TDB, Oct. 20) but All Saints Day dates back only to Pope Gregory III in the 8th Century. The historical record shows that the Celtic/Gaelic celebration of Samhain (pronounced “SAH-win”) on the same date precedes it by centuries. Samhain was one of a number of pre-Christian celebrations, including those now known as Christmas and Easter, that the Catholic Church preempted with holy days of its own whose celebrations might help ween “pagans” from their ancient ways. That “Hallowe’en” still exists seems to indicate it did not enjoy total success.

~ Ty Martin, Tryon, N.C.

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