No one is sure how old Halloween really is, but trace its probably origins back to BC times, to the ancient Druids and Celts, who lived in England, Ireland, and Wales.
The ancient Celts believed, on October 31st, the spirits of the dead would come back to earth, often in the form of a black cat, to be reunited with loved ones, one last time.
The ancient Romans loved celebrations. They especially enjoyed a holidays they celebrated around the 25th of December. The Romans feasted, gave gifts, were merry, and decorated their homes with greenery, customs they borrowed form the ancient Egyptians and Greeks!
Kwanzaa is a reflective holidays, introduced in the mid-1960s in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement. It was designed to pull all African-Americans together through a celebration of unity and pride. Kwanzaa is a thought provoking, soul-searching, fun and fascinating annual seven day celebration, positioned at the end of each calendar year.
The symbols of Kwanzaa are based on ancient African harvest symbols. The seven days of activities of Kwanzaa are based on an ancient Swahili celebration.
The celebration of the new year has been around for quite a while! Over 4,000 years ago, the ancient Babylonians celebrated the new year in March, with feasting and parties outdoors. It was the ancient Greeks, over 2,000 years ago, who started the tradition of honoring the first baby born in each new year.
Many ancient people believed that some animals had magical powers. The ancient Egyptians believed that cats could protect their homes. The ancient Celts believed that groundhogs could predict the weather!
The ancient Romans loved games and festivals. They were either preparing for or enjoying some sort of festival or celebration or party nearly every day of the year! In the process, the ancient Romans "invented" the origins of many of the fun holiday activities we enjoy today.
One ancient Roman festival was called Lupercalia, which honored love. On this day, young people in ancient Rome chose future marriage partners by drawing names from a hat. As you can imagine, some of the "marriage partnerships" did not work very well. But some did, and partners did happily marry.
The ancient Romans did not "invent" everything. Some people believe it was the ancient Babylonians who invented colored eggs. These are the same Babylonians who invented some other pretty neat things like the wheel and the sailboard, 5,000 years ago!
APRIL FOOLS DAY
The ancient Greeks would have loved April Fool's Day. They so adored being clever. But they did not create this holiday. The history of April Fool's only goes back to the 16th century in the Middle Ages.