Home > Entertainment and Activities > Holidays > Halloween > Halloween Fun and Activities > The Spooktacular History of Halloween

Slideshow Iconslideshows MORE

|

The Spooktacular History of Halloween

4 of 9
Close up of camp fire

Bonfires


The word "bonfire," derived from the words bone and fire, means "fire of bones" and refers to the huge sacred fires Druids (Celtic priests) would build to commemorate Samhain.

During this time, the pagans would extinguish their hearth fires and gather around the sacred fire to burn crops and animals bones as sacrifices to the gods. Personal and symbolic items were also burned as offerings for relief from sickness or bad luck in the coming year. When the celebration was over, the pagans would use the embers of the sacred bonfire to re-light their own hearths as a way to protect them from the coming winter.

Additionally, the sacred bonfires were thought to scare away any evil spirits visiting. People would stay close to the fires wearing costumes of animal heads and skins to disguise themselves.

Next: Witches and Cauldrons

highlights

Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks