It Happened On #34

Welcome to a special Halloween edition of It Happened On. It’s special because today’s Halloween and instead of the normal talking about historical events that occurred on this day, I’ll talk about the history of Halloween. How exciting!

Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.

On May 13, 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honour of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church. Pope Gregory III (731–741) later expanded the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs, and moved the observance from May 13 to November 1. By the 9th century the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with the older Celtic rites. In 1000 A.D., the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honour the dead. All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween

It happened on October 31 1926…Harry Houdini, the most celebrated magician and escape artist of the 20th century, dies of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital

Had to add the last part – don’t want the history buffs up in arms

 

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