Halloween is a national holiday celebrated all over the world, though not officially made as a federal holiday. Have you ever wondered what the true origin of this holiday is?
Halloween first originated in ancient Britain and Ireland by the Celtic people. On this night, people would light bonfires and candles while wearing costumes to drive away the ghosts who were thought to be ravaging their crops.
Some of the costumes worn included saints and biblical figures, as this holiday was first created by the church. Celts believed that their ancestors’ spirits would visit them on this day, and would lay out offerings such as food, drinks, and jewelry for them.
Originally, Halloween was celebrated on the first of November to honor saints. The day before was this holiday’s eve. This turned into the holiday we all know of today, Halloween. During the middle ages, Halloween was a time for the people to gather together, have feasts, play games, and even throw parades. Trick or treating was also celebrated during this time.
All of the Halloween traditions that we celebrate today have been around since the beginning of this day. Carving pumpkins and turning them into jack-o-lanterns used to be made up from carving turnips, potatoes, or beets and making jack-o-lanterns out of those. The reason for carving turnips and not carving pumpkins like we do today is because pumpkins were not indigenous to Ireland. As years went on North America started to take on this holliday, where pumpkins were native to their land.
Trick or treating during the origins of Halloween was a little different than today as well. Small groups of people, mostly the poor in costumes, went from house to house and performed little tricks in exchange for food and drinks.
The theme of costumes worn back then consisted of ghosts, witches, devils, and skeletons. Haunted houses were also not around until the Great Depression where parents came up with ways to distract the children whose Halloween pranks turned into vandalism and property damage.
After many years Halloween has changed. Nowadays people don’t look at this holliday as an ancient ritual. Halloween is a day full of activities and fun still including those traditions of long before. Carving pumpkins, trick or treating, costumes, eating treats, and watching scary movies are now the main attractions. There are some people who don’t celebrate this holiday due to religious reasons. Jehovah’s Witnesses, some Jewish, and Muslims are some of the few.
No matter what you do, everyone loves to celebrate this day in different ways, children love to go trick or treating from door to door, while others love to dress up and go to Halloween parties. Some just like to stay at home with a bowl of candy and enjoy scary movies.