The night of Samhain, in Irish, , is one of the principal festivals of the Celtic calendar, and falls on the 31st of October. In modern Ireland and Scotland, the name by which Halloween is known in the Gaelic language is still .
It is still the custom in some areas to set a place for the dead at the Samhain feast, and to tell tales of the ancestors on that night.
Traditionally, Samhain was time to take stock of the herds and grain supplies, and decide which animals would need to be slaughtered in order for the people and livestock to survive the winter.
The word 'bonfire', or 'bonefire' is a direct translation of the Gaelic .
With the bonfire ablaze, the villagers extinguished all other fires.
The Gaulish calendar appears to have divided the year into two halves: the 'dark' half, beginning with the month ), the beginning of the lunar cycle which fell nearest to the midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice.
The lunations marking the middle of each half-year may also have been marked by specific festivals.
Thousands of Palestinians are displaced and absorbed into Jordan.
18,000 Arab soldiers are killed250 Egyptian planes and 50 Syrian planes are destroyed.
(Palestine) : The pro-Soviet faction of the Ba'ath Party seizes power in Iraq and appoints general Ahmed Hasan al-Bakr president and Saddam Hussein in charge of internal security, removing Shiites (the majority of Iraq's population) from any position of power : After a series of assassination attempts King Hussein of Jordanfearing for his own country's stabilityorders a massive expulsion of Palestinians that results in ten days of civil war with 200 Syrian tanks invading Jordan and 5,000 deaths ("black september") (Jordan) : The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine carries out simultaneous hijackings to Jordan (Dawson's Field) of TWASwissair and BOAC planes for a total of over 300 hostages ("Skyjack Sunday")which are swapped with Leila Khaledthe leader of the PFLP cell captured in Britain (Jordan) : King Hussein of Jordan orders a massive expulsion of Palestinians ("black september"), many of which move into Lebanon, further destabilizing the country and the Palestinian leader Arafat settles in Beirut, Lebanon : Venezuelan-born terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez ("Carlos the Jackal")who studied in Russia and was trained by Haddadperforms spectacular terrorist actions on behalf of Palestinian terrorist groups (London) : After the pact between Iran and Iraq that ends Iranian support for Kurdish rebels in Iraq, Iraqi troops massacre thousands of Kurdish civilians and rebels after collecting them in "dar al-fana" ("houses of annihilation") : when Iranthe United States and Israel withdraw support to the Kurdish revolt led by Mustafa Barzani Iraqi troops massacre thousands of Kurdish civilians and rebels after collecting them in "dar al-fana" ("houses of annihilation") (Iraq) : Israeli commandos storm an Air France plane hijacked by Palestinian terrorists in Entebbe killing all the Palestinians and scores of Ugandan soldiers that were protecting them and freeing 102 hostages (Palestine) : The Camp David agreement brokered by president Jimmy Carter of the USA prescribes a timetable for solving the Palestinian issuebut Jordan refuses to negotiate on behalf of Arafat and Israel refuses to negotiate directly with a terrorist like Arafat (Palestine) : Sadat is assassinated by soldiers led by Khalid al Islambouliinspired by radical Muslim organization (the Egyptian Islamic Jihad) of Egyptian surgeon Ayman al-Zawahri and is succeeded by vice-president Hosni Mubarak (Egypt) : At the battle of Shouf a USA warship rescues Michel Aoun's Lebanese army that is being defeated by a coalition of Walid Jumblatt's Druze militia, Syrian troops, PLO guerrillas and Iranian Revolutionary Guards (Lebanon) : Bashir Gemayel is assassinated by Syrian agents, and in retaliation Israeli-backed Christian militiamen of the Phalange under Elie Hobeika with the support of Israeli troops (under the command of Ariel Sharon) massacre 1,000 unarmed Palestinian and Lebanese civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in west Beirut (Lebanon) : In retaliation for an assassination attempt by Abu Nidal and Iraqi agents on the Israeli ambassador in Britain Israel invades Lebanon trapping the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and its leader Yassir Arafat in Beirut (despite the fact that Abu Nidal is not part of the PLO) (Lebanon) : In retaliation for an assassination attempt by Abu Nidal and Iraqi agents on the Israeli ambassador in Britain, Israel invades Lebanon trapping the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and its leader Yassir Arafat in Beirut (despite the fact that Abu Nidal is not part of the PLO) : Saudi Arabia becomes the financial arm of the CIA to bypass the USA parliamentselling arms to Nicaragua's rebelsto Angola's rebels and to Afghanistan's rebels fighting communist regimes in three continents (Saudi Arabia) : Osama bin Laden meets Palestinian cleric Abdullah Azzam in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and together they form in Peshawar (Pakistan) the Maktab al-Khidamat (Service Office) with the goal to recruit fighters and raise money for the Afghan resistance : 1.260 Palestinian prisoners (among them Sheikh Ahmed Yassin) are released from Israeli jails in a prisoner exchange between Israel and Ahmad Jibril's PFLP-GC that has hijacked an American passenger plane (Israel) : Palestinian terrorists led by Abu Abbas hijack the Achille Lauro cruise shipkill one USA passengerescape via Egyptare tracked down by USA warplanesand are finally helped to escape by the Italian government (Palestine) : Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, backed by donors in the Gulf states and by Jordan, creates the Islamist civilian and military organization Hamas in Gaza, with the goal to drive Israel out of the Middle East and establish an Islamic state : Chad expels Libya from northern Chad, despite Ahmad Jibril's PFLP-GC organization fighting together with Libya, and captures Libyan general Khalifa Haftar, who is then disavowed by Libya and is flown by the CIA to Congo Zaire : Emanating from the Jabaliya refugee camp Palestinians in the occupied territories begin an uprising against Israeli occupation forces using mainly rocks (the first "intifada") mainly protesting continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian areas of the West Bank (Palestine) : Sheikh Ahmed Yassinbacked by donors in the Gulf statescreates the civilian and military organization Hamas in Gaza as the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhoodwith the goal to drive Israel out of the Middle East and establish an Islamic state (Palestine) : Osama bin Laden splits from Azzam and creates Al Qaeda ("The Base"), meant to become a worldwide alliance of fundamentalist militants, but also based on the teachings of Mohammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (the 19th century founder of the conservative Islamic theology "wahhabism" that is still prevalent in Saudi Arabia) and Sayyid Qutb (an Egyptian philosopher that viewed western civilization as the main enemy of Islam) : A USA warship is damaged by an Iranian mine in the Persian Gulfand in retaliation the USA starts its largest naval battle since Vietnamdestroying two Iranian oil platforms and attacking Iranian warships (Iran) : Lebanese factions agree to end the civil war ("Taif Agreement"), splitting the parliament equally between Christians and Muslims A, but the first Christian president is immediately assassinated and Lebanon is forced by Syria to pick Elias Hrawi as new president : Ahmed Yassinleader of Hamasis arrested and condemned to life in prisonand his successor Musa Abu Marzook separates the civilian and military wings of Hamas (Salah Shihada establishes Hamas' military apparatus) (Palestine) : Saudi Arabiaafraid that Saddam Hussein may turn against them after invading Kuwaitjoins the U.
S.-led coalition and for the first time ever allows troops of a non-Muslim country to deploy on its soil (Saudi Arabia) : the last Christian leader to fight Syria and the Muslims in Lebanongeneral Michel Aounsurrenders to Syria (after a battle that killed 700 Christians)and the civil war ends (40,000 people have died in 16 years) (Lebanon) : An international coalition (including most Arab countries) led by the USA expels Iraq from Kuwait, and 400 thousand Palestinians are expelled from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Gulf states, mostly relocating to Jordan : Mohammed Nazzala Jordan-based leader of Hamas with the help of Osama bin Laden terroristsunleashes a campaign of terrorist bombings and assassinations aimed at toppling the regime of King Hussein (Jordan) : The US-led coalition stops short of reaching Bagdad and leaves Saddam Hussein in power but controlling only the central part of Iraq (the southern and northern part are off-limits to Iraqi planes in order to protect the shiite and kurdish minorities) (Iraq) : The Algerian army cancels national elections won by the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) and seizes powerwhile Islamic radicals of the Arme` Islamique du Salut (AIS)the military wing of the FISbegin a guerrilla campaign (Algeria) : The Algerian army, led by general Khaled Nezzar, cancels national elections won by Abassi Madani's Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) and seizes power, while the military wing of the Islamic Salvation Front begin a guerrilla campaign, supported by Iran : following secret negotiations in Oslo, the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Arafat sign an agreement to start a peace process (Israel recognizes the PLO and the PLO recognizes Israel) : A group of of Algerian "Afghans" (Islamic fighters who received their military training in Afghanistan) forms the Group Islamique Arme` (GIA) with the mission to exterminate all infidels (basically Jews and Christians) and begins targeting foreign nationals in Algeriamurdering two Frenchmen (Algeria) : following secret negotiations in Oslothe Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Arafat sign an agreement to start a peace process (Israel recognizes the PLO and the PLO recognizes Israel) (Palestine) : terrorists led by Egyptian surgeon Ayman al-Zawahrinew leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad that killed Sadat and affiliated to Osama bin Laden working in collaboration with Somali warlord Muhammed Farrah Aididtrap American troops in Mogadishushoot down three helicopters and kill 18 American soldiers (Somalia) : the FBI suspects Ramzi Yousefan Egyptian terroristof organizing the bombing of the World Trade Center and finds ties with a blind sheik in Jersey City named Omar Abdel Rahmana radical Egyptian group and Afghan war hero Wali Khan Amin Shaha close ally of Osama bin Laden (USA) : an Air France Airbus A300 is hijacked at Algiers airport by Islamic terrorists of the Group Islamic Army with the plan to blow it up over Parisbut the plane was stormed by French police in Marseille (Algeria) : chaos reigns as the Group Islamic Army (GIA)led by Tayeb al Afghanian Afghan veterankills scores of foreigners and Algerian intellectuals in and around Algierswhile the Movement Islamic Army (MIA)also led by Afghan veteransattacks military and government targets in the western and eastern regions of Algeriawhile the Kataeb al Mout death squadsled by Afghan veteran) Sherif Gousmi (aka Abu Abdallah Ahmed)specialize in assassinations of government officials and several French citizens (Algeria) : during the civil war between communists and democratic forcespresident Ali Saleh enjoys the support of Islah (Islamic Reform Party)an offshoot of the Hashed tribes in northern Yemen headed by radical Sheikh Abdul Mejid Az Zindani (Yemen) : Hamas and the Islamic Jihad movement begin a series of suicide terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, including 22 people in october 1994, 19 people in january 1995, 58 people in 1996, 24 people in 1997 (mostly suicide bombings) : Ramzi Yousef Abdul Hakim Murad and Wali Khan Amin Shahall three ex Afghan fighters working under Kuwait-born Al Qaeda terrorist and Youself's uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammedplan terrorist attacks (to blow up several civilian U. airplanes over the Pacificto attack the CIA headquarters in the US with a plane loaded with explosivesto blow up two Boeing 747 airliners as they approached Hong Kong from different directionsand to blow up 11 US airliners simultaneously as they attempted to land at various American cities) (Philippines) : The West Bank and the Gaza Strip are turned over by Israel to the Palestinian Authority under the command of Yassir Arafatwho isde factorecognized as the leader of the future Palestinian state (Palestine) : A USA-founded coalition of Chalabi's militia Iraqi general Wafiq al-Samarrai and Talabani's Kurdish militia start a rebellion in northern Iraq but are stopped by Barzani's Kurdish militia and Turkish troops (Iran) : 19 USA soldiers are killed in the bombing of the airforce barracks in Dhahran (Khobar Towers) and evidence points towards Saudi terrorists supported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Saudi Arabia) : Israel launches Operation Grapes of Wrath in Lebanon that displaces 400,000 Lebanese and kills more than 100 civiliansincluding 102 women and children killed in the bombing of the Kana refugee center run by the United Nations (Israel) : Osama bin Laden returns to Afghanistan and is welcomed by the warlord of Jalalabad Mullah Yunus Khalisand starts recruiting the foreign Arab militants still in Afghanistan after the war against the Sovietsand hundreds of wanted terrorists from all over the worldcreating the "055" brigade (Afghanistan) : Benjamin Netanyahu authorizes a Jewish settlement at Har Homathat cuts off Palestinians of Jerusalem from Betlehemand a few days later a suicide bomber kills three people in a Tel Aviv cafe (Israel) : upset by a failed assassination attempt by Israeli secret agents against Hamas' leader in Jordan (Khaled Mishal)that threatens the peace treaty between the two countries Jordan's King Hussein demands and obtains the release of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (Palestine) : Al Qaeda terrorists led by Fazul Abdullah Mohammed destroy the American embassieskilling 213 people in Kenya and 11 in Tanzania (very few Americansmany Muslims)the latter carried out by Ahmed Khalfan Gailani (Kenya & Tanzania) : Egyptian student Mohammed Atta and Yemeni terrorist Ramzi Binalshibhwho reports to Kuwaiti terrorist Khalid Shaikh Mohammedbecome roommates in Hamburgand Atta becomes the leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist cell in Germany (Germany) : Osama bin Laden announces the creation of the "International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders"an international alliance of terrorist organizationsincluding Al Qaedathe Egyptian Islamic Jihadand the Pakistan-based Jamiat-ul-Ulemaand Muhammad Atif (aka Subhi Abu Sittaaka Abu Hafs Al Masri) is named commander of their military operations (Afghanistan) : the U.
The term derives from the name of a month in the ancient Celtic calendar, in particular the first three nights of this month, with the festival marking the end of the summer season and the end of the harvest.
The Gaelic festival became associated with the Catholic All Souls' Day, and appears to have influenced the secular customs now connected with Halloween.
Bonfires played a large part in the festivities celebrated down through the last several centuries, and up through the present day in some rural areas of the Celtic nations and the diaspora.