From communion with the dead to pumpkins and pranks! Halloween is a patchwork holiday stitched together with cultural, religious and occult traditions spanning over centuries.


Its origins begin with the Celts - a people whose culture had spread across Europe more than 2000 years ago. The end of October or beginning of November was a period the Celts referred to as Samhain – A Gaelic festival that marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year.

That night also marked the Celtic New Year and was considered a time between years – a magical time when the ghost of the dead supposedly roamed the Earth. It is widely believed by historians and occultists that it is a time when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest.

During Samhain, villagers congregated and lit massive bonfires with means to drive the dead back to the spirit world, thus keeping them away from the living, but as the Catholic Church’s influence grew in Europe, Pagan rituals like Samhain were inherently frowned upon.

Samhain – A Gaelic festival


During the 7th Century, the Vatican began to merge Samhain with a church-sanctioned holiday. So November 1st was designated as ‘All Saints Day’ to honour martyrs and the deceased faithful. Both of these holidays had to do with the afterlife and about survival after death. It was a calculated move on the part of the Church to bring more people into the fold.

All Saints Day was known then as ‘Hallowmas’. Hallow means ‘Holy’ or ‘Saintly’, so the translation roughly means Mass of the Saints. The night before October 31st was ‘All Hallow’s Eve’, which gradually morphed into ‘Halloween’.

Hallow’s Eve

The holiday came to America with the wave of Irish immigrants with the potato famine of the 1840s. They brought several of their holiday customs with them including bobbing for apples and playing tricks on neighbours like removing gates from the front of houses. The young pranksters wore masks so they wouldn’t be recognized. But over the years, the tradition of harmless tricks grew into outright vandalism.

Back in the 1930’s Halloween became a dangerous holiday due to such hooliganism and vandalism and Trick or Treating was originally an extortion deal: “Give us candy or we will trash your house!” Storekeepers or Neighbours began giving treats or bribes to stop the tricks and children were encouraged to travel door-to-door for treats as an alternative to troublemaking and mischief. By the late 30s, trick-or-treat became the Holiday greeting.




In modern times Halloween is celebrated throughout the World as a day of fun and adventure though, in some parts of the world, its Pagan roots are still considered sacred. Costumes inspired by various occult tales, penny dreadfuls and children’s stories come to life among kids, teenagers and mostly young adults looking to stock up on sweets of all kinds, spend a night around a bonfire camping out in the wilderness reciting spooky tales or ghost stories, or in the company of friends or family, partying on until the sun rises to vanquish the spooks away.

Halloween Food

If you’re looking to stock up on Halloween sweets and snacks, look no further than Kugans Online Supermarket – Your Smart Grocery Store. We got plenty of South Asian sweets, snacks and treats to ensure your Halloween will be one worth remembering. Shop with us today!


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