Halloween History

Written by: Elizabeth Patrick

Did you know, according to Country Living, “The word Halloween comes from All Hallows’ Eve and means “hallowed evening”?

Halloween is a nationally celebrated holiday that is celebrated every year on October 31.

Every year millions of people will spend the month of October decorating and enjoying fun fall activities leading up to the day of Halloween. Some of the most popular activities include: trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, going in haunted houses and walks, watching scary movies, and dressing up in various costumes.

The Halloween tradition started with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would have bonfires and dress up in costumes to ward off ghosts. Halloween is celebrated on this day because the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain, the oldest known tradition of Halloween, took place on this day.

October 31 marked a critical time of the year for the Samhain. The seasons were changing, and observers believed that they were able to connect with the dead. This belief was commonly shared among other cultures, but most commonly around the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which also occurs in October and involves praying for the dead. This was when Halloween gained its scary or haunted reputation.

Eventually, the holiday spread in popularity, and other cultures and people were celebrating it. One of the first American Colonial Halloween celebrations consisted of large public parties to commemorate the upcoming harvest, tell ghost stories, sing, and dance.

Over time, Halloween has grown in fame, where today you will find thousands of houses dressed with pumpkins, gourds, and different decorations, kids disguised in costumes going trick or treating throughout the neighborhoods, and teens being frightened in haunted houses and going on spooky walks with the hope of being scared.

To finalize, Halloween started with the ancient festival of Samhain. Over the years has turned into one of the most popular holiday celebrations where you will find hundreds of kids trick or treating or going into haunted houses.

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