HALLOWEEN HISTORY

HALLOWEEN HISTORY

By: Saatvik Kumar

Halloween is an intricate holiday with a rich and wondrous history. This celebration began around 2000 years ago as a Celtic tradition. It was not celebrated on October 31, but on November first to mark the new year of the Celts. According to legend, on the night before the first of November, the boundaries between the living and dead worlds would be blurred, allowing ghosts to return to the Earth. This is what gave Halloween its scary factor. During the night of October 31st, also known as Samhain to the Celts, the people dressed up in animal skins and pelts and told their fortunes to each other. This tradition was continued for many years until Samhain met Christianity. The Christians changed the name of Samhain to All Hallows Eve, and eventually Halloween. This tradition began to spread all across Europe and people were familiar with it, but it was not heavily practiced.

This began to change in the late 1800’s in America. Halloween began to be a casual gathering event where people talked about ghosts and witchcraft and where children played pranks. By the 20th century, Halloween was no longer a religious event but an entertainment event.

However, there was a big problem plaguing the world in the early 1900’s: vandalism. There was more trick than treat at this time starting with spray painting and going as far as arson going. The solution to this big problem was the thing we all know and love, trick-or-treating. Communities came together and decided that if they let their children go from house to house dressed in costumes and get treats, vandalism would be easily spotted and reported. Although the logic behind this may not have been sound, it gave birth to a great tradition that is now known as Halloween.