The History Of Halloween
Every year, kids all across America wait months for October 31st to come simply so they can dress up in a costume and go door-to-door asking for some treats. Most people assume that it’s just a harmless holiday for kids to be kids, but do you know the true origin of Halloween?
Halloween first came to be back with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. This was a festival that involved people lighting bonfires and putting on costumes in order to ward off ghosts. Then, in the eighth century, Pope Gregory III declared November 1st as a day that everyone would honor the saints. Eventually, the day of October 31st evolved into a day for not only trick-or-treating but a day for family fall activities such as carving pumpkins, baking, fun festivals, and much more.
But how did an ancient festival turn into a night of candy? Within the following years of the Celtic festival, a custom known as mumming, that dates back to the Middle Ages, consisted of dressing up in scary costumes such as ghosts, demons, or other hostile figures and acting foolish in exchange for food and drinks. People today think about it as the medieval version of trick-or-treating. By the ninth century, Christianity had began to spread to the Celtic lands, and by 1000 A.D., November 2nd was to celebrate all of the dead souls. According to History.com, “Poor people would visit the houses of wealthier families and receive pastries called soul cakes in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of the homeowners’ dead relatives. Known as “souling,” the practice was later taken up by children, who would go from door to door asking for gifts such as food, money and ale.” This is how ancient traditions where progressed into something totally different.
Does everyone celebrate Halloween? The Halloween that we know and love today in the United States is celebrated in other countries but not all. It is celebrated in Ireland, Canada, of course America and more. Although there are some countries that have nothing to do with this holiday, there are some that celebrate it in a way that is a little bit different than us. For example, in Europe, they celebrate by participating in activities like parades, certain Irish traditions, and colorful folklores with other modern day merriments. With the celebration of Halloween going on in many parts of the world, there are still some places that have nothing to do with this day. Mexico is an example of this along with Great Britain, China, Austria, and more.
How does America celebrate Halloween? In America, Halloween is something many children look forward to all year, as it is a day to collect all the candy their little hearts desire. But there’s a little more to it then just candy. Many family households take pride in decorating both the inside and the outside of there house for this holiday. They can be decorated with anything from spooky skeletons, orange light, ghosts, or other scary things. Along with the topic of appearance, children like either buying or hand making costumes to dress up in. There costume can be anything from their imaginations. Some like keeping history by dressing up in scary costumes, but others like to dress up in something more from their likings like certain TV characters or animals. Once the sun starts going down and it becomes dark, about 93% of America’s children begin their night of going door-to-door, saying “Trick-or-Treat”, and collecting as much candy as they can in either a basket or a bag. During the day time, people partake in certain activities such as carving pumpkins, baking goods, decorating, or simply spending time together.
All in all, Halloween is a holiday made for family fun, kids getting to express themselves, and maybe going off your diet for a day or so. Halloween is coming up very soon, and you don’t want to miss it, so call all your friends and ask them this question, what are you going to do for Halloween this year?