The History of Halloween

Ever wonder about the legend of Halloween? October 31 goes way back starting with Celtic festival of Samhain 2,000 years ago. The Celts lived in the area of which is now Ireland, England, and northern France. At this festival, the Celts would dress up in costumes to ward off ghosts. They held this festival in honor of their New Year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and time for the harvest. Time for the harvest also meant the coming of the long, dark winter which associated with death. On the night of October 31, it was believed that the ghosts of the passed came back on earth.

To the Celts, the presence of the spirits made it easier to make predictions about the future. These prophecies were comforting and allowed a good guide for people through the long, dark winter season. The Celts costumes consisted of animal skins and heads in attempt to tell each other’s fortunes.

Years later, Halloween became a celebration in the United States but only common through in Maryland and the southern colonies. The first American celebrations were “play parties”, which were events to celebrate the harvest. Family, friends, and neighbors would come together and share stories of the deceased, sing and dance. Between 1920 and 1950, trick-or-treating became known as inexpensive way for families to prevent tricks being played on them, by giving kids in the neighborhood small treats. After this, a new tradition was created. Americans spend close to 6 billion dollars for this day of celebration. Halloween is now the country’s second largest commercial holiday after Christmas. So go out and creep it real with a Halloween scare!



Esme Bisbee

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