Celtic Legacy Unmasking Halloween's Benign Spirit
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Halloween really had its origins in the Celtic version of New Year's Eve, if you add to New Year's revelry the idea of the ghost of recently dead Grampa knocking on the hut door to beg help getting into the afterlife. The ancient Celts divided the year into two parts, summer and winter, and Samhain marked the summer's end and the new year... So don't blame stale licorice on Satan. He isn't the one who threw the parties that evolved into Halloween, according to Hans Broedel, a professor of history at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. "It was a day when spirits walked around, ghosts walked around and said 'Hi.' That's the origin. But most of the modern stuff is Christian in origin... It's really a completely Christian holiday," Broedel said. "There's nothing satanic about it at all."