History of Halloween🎃


Joshua Patterson, Staff Writer

Although hundreds of holidays are celebrated in October, at the end of the month, millions of people around the world celebrate the most famous holiday in October which we call Halloween. It all started with the Celtic Festival of Samhain. The Celtic people believed this day marked the start of the cold or “dark” times as well as the return of the dead. During Samhain, people would light a large bonfire and dress in spooky costumes in an attempt to ward off ghosts. In addition, All saints Day or All Hallows Day began to incorporate some of the Samhain traditions. The evening before All Hallows Day or the night of October 31st, began to be referred to as All Hallows Eve; then later just Hallows Eve until eventually it was just called Halloween.

Soon, the holiday made its way to America from Europe.  The views of Halloween from the Europeans meshed with the American Indians and the first few Celebrations just included “play Parties” or public events to celebrate the fall harvest. The holiday was slow to become popular but eventually did with the help of many new European immigrants. More specifically, there were those that were fleeing Ireland from the Irish potato famine.

Slowly the idea of “trick-or-treating” came about. The idea most likely originates from the previously mentioned, “All Souls Day”. On this day, the poor beggars would go house to house asking for soul cakes or “treats” and in return they would pray for the family’s dead souls who may be stuck in purgatory. This was because it was widely believed in this time that if a family member was stuck in purgatory you could pray them out. The Europeans put a twist on this where children would just go door to door and ask for candy.

Over time, Halloween parties became more common and the entire country began to celebrate the holiday. Slowly through movies, stories, and traditions, Halloween began to become more of a fun holiday where you dress up just to scare your friends and eat candy rather than a paranormal and spiritual time. The ideas and items that symbolize Halloween slowly change to more child friendly things like black cats, ghost, and witches. Finally, a Celtic originated holiday which was very spooky has transformed into an American holiday where we now attempt to spook our friends and family.

Photo courtesy of Boardandbrush.com