A history of Halloween's monikers
Halloween is a time for candy, costumes and all things creepy and weird. This ancient celebration wasn't always that way, though. We traced the holiday back to its early days using Hans Decoz's Numerology Name Advisor, and found some interesting stories buried (pun intended) in Halloween's three historic names.
Halloween as we know it today originated in Ireland under the name Samhain (pronounced "sow-in"). The Celts believed that on this night, the ghosts of the dead returned to earth, making mischief and destroying crops. To celebrate the festival, the Celts dressed up in animal heads and skins, built bonfires and burned crops and animals as sacrifices to the spirits.
Numerologically speaking, the name "Samhain" is dominated by the number 2. On the positive side, this number reflects harmony, cooperation and survival. On the negative side, it represents fear. The Celts learned to use the positive characteristics associated with this name to counteract the negative. Instead of being frightened of the dead that they believed were walking the earth to do them harm, they instead celebrated them. The name is also influenced by the number 9, adding great wealth through sacrifice into the mix. The Celts thought that by offering some crops and animals to the spirits, they would be protecting their full harvest through the winter.
All Hallow's Eve
When Christianity replaced pagan traditions, Nov. 1 was designated as All Saint's Day or All-hallowmas, and Samhain became known as All Hallow's Eve. With the new name came a new spin -- not all the dead were honored, only those who were saints or martyrs.
In Numerology, the name "All Hallow's Eve" is dominated by the number 3. This number represents optimism, enthusiasm and inspiration. Within a historical context, this makes sense -- it was the early days of Christianity, and people had a message they were excited about, and that was being listened to. Like Samhain before it, though, All Hallow's Eve is also influenced by the number 9, suggesting that though the traditions were tweaked under Christianity, the pagan roots were still rich.
The holiday we celebrate on Oct. 31 today, Halloween, is dominated by the number 5, which reflects excitement, freedom and adventure. It stands for youth and energy, and has a rebellious, daring streak. This would explain why even adults enjoy being someone (or something) else for an evening, or spooking themselves with scary movies and haunted houses.
Interestingly, the name isn't dominated or influenced by any of the numbers of its predecessors, suggesting that our current festival has shed both its pagan and Christian roots. But, of course, anyone who's ever seen Michael Myers wield a knife already knew that.