This Halloween timeline traces the origins of the holiday. Halloween's origins are thought to date back over 2,000 years to a Celtic festival known as Samhain. This festival, held at the end of October, signaled the end of the harvest and the start of the winter season. The Celts believed that the night of October 31st was a day when the living and the dead merged and the dead returned to earth. Festival-goers dressed up in costumes and masks to appease the evil intent of the born dead. Additional celebrations were added to the Celtic festival of Samhain after four centuries of Roman rule. One was dedicated to Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees.