Here is the History of Halloween as told in the 1930’s
Like so many of its other holidays, Christendom has inherited Hallowe’en from Pagan times. In part it is a survival of the ancient Britons’ autumn festival in honor of the Sun-god. To this bright deity the Druids lit bonfires – their dramatic way of expressing gratitude for the harvest. And they firmly believed that on this occasion Samhain, the lord of death, assembled the souls of the unfortunages who had died within the year and who had, for their sins, been confined in the bodies of the lower animals. To our own day, indeed, certain of the inhabitants of Ireland call the thirty-first of October Oidhche Shamhna, or “The Vigil of Samhain.”
Upon the vestiges of these Druidic rites and beliefs have been grafted the vestiges of others fully as old, but far removed, in spiriat and place of origin, from the primitive customs of Britain. For our Hallowe’en is almost equally descended from the ancient Roman festival in honor of Pomona, the godes of fruit and gardens, who was honored about the first of November.
Thus the long-perished religions of the Druid and the Roman have been fused by their descendants into a single magic celebration at the time of year sacred both to Samhain and Pomona. And it has come to pass that, sanctioned by immemorial belief, Hallowe’en is still regarded by the young of all ages as the occasion par excellence for those who dwell in the darkness manifest themselves and convey intimations to the living about fundamental human cencerns like death and love and marriage.
Naturally a holiday so intimately tied up with the world of spirits must feature such elemental things as earth and fire andwater. The fruits of their cooperation, nuts and apples – symboliing Pomona’s gifts of winter food for mankind – still play important roles on the Hallowe’en program.
More information on the History of Halloween: