The story of Halloween
Hallowwen’s origins date back on the ancient Celtic festival of “Samhain”. The people named “Celts” who lived in the area that is now Ireland, the United kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1st. This day (November, 1st) marked the end of summer and the beginning of the dark, cold winter. At that time, Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31st, they (the Celts) celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition, to cause more trouble and damaging corps, Celts thought that the presence of the spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future.
To commemorate this event, Druids built huge scared bonfires, where the people gathered to burn corps and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.
During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes (typically consisting of animal heads and skins).
By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated the “November 1st “All Saints’ day, a time to honor martyrs and saints. Later, the church would make November 2nd, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated with bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as devils, angels, saints. At that time, this celebration was called “Hallowmas”.
Hundreds of years later, as many immigrants (especially European) came to America, they brought their Halloween customs with them. These immigrants popularized the celebration of Halloween. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for money or food. Young women believed that, on Halloween, they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, mirrors, or apple parings.
By the 1930s, Halloween had really been celebrated. At that time, a new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. During the Halloween, people do the “trick or treat” tradition.
The tradition of dressing in costumes for Halloween has European roots. Many years ago, winter was a frightening time. Food supplies often ran low, and for many people afraid of the dark, the days of winter were full of worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. In order to avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from houses, people would put bowls of food outside their home to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.