Death Consumes the Land
Although Samhain is credited as Halloween’s ancestor, these early traditions are difficult to definitively prove. There is little written record of the holiday from the Celtic era. There are scholars, such as Steve Roud, author of The English Year, and historian Ronald Hutton, who believe Samhain was an important Celtic festival, but more about the harvest and a harvest feast rather than any supernatural or god/spirit connection and less directly connected to modern Halloween. But Hutton acknowledges that the coming of winter meant death, as the costume above illustrates. Leaves died, flowers withered, and the hours of daylight decreased. People died in greater numbers. Halloween, whether rooted in Celtic or Christian tradition, was a final night of celebration before the season of death was fully upon the people.