Digging into Halloween history


Victoria Drury

On Halloween afternoon , Victoria Drury (11), Chloe Poole (11), Reese Hamsley (11), Nic Gowdy (11), Ashley James (11) and Austin Sconyers (11) dressed up. The trick-or-treaters enjoyed the holiday together having fun doing many popular festivities. "We had so much fun on the golf cart driving around! It was a great experience!" Chloe Poole said.

Halloween: a time when children play merrily, disguised in creepy or cute costumes, with buckets in hand and candy-craving hunger. A day where many adults celebrate a night of thrills and horror. People all around the US get festive and let their inner Halloween-loving spirit loose to get down and boogie.

However,  that is not how the mainstream holiday was started. Movies, candy, and parties were not heard of or thought of when this all began. It all began with a bonfire where people would partake in a festival known as Samhain Festival.

Samhain is a festival celebrated on October 31 to November 1. Marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. The Celts, a group of tribal societies in Middle and Western Europe, would celebrate the beliefs that both the living and dead would integrate on this cold dark night. They would dress in costumes albeit they were rather simplistic being hides and animal skins. The Celts would also carve gourds, which created the long-lasting trend of carving jack-o-lanterns. 

Cultural beliefs change and alter a lot. This happened with the Celtic culture once the Roman Empire came about. Once this happened traditions such as apple bobbing and other festivities the Romans had created. Christianity had conquered the Celtic lands which created All Saints Day.

All Saints Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. Children would go door-to-door asking for Soul Cakes, which are similar to that of biscuits. This then began to be called All Hallow’s Eve and eventually Halloween. This lit a new series of traditions that expanded across the world. Everyone everywhere were celebrating this magical night.

Into the twentieth century people began to involve music and movies. Before corporate businesses started to mass produce costumes and decorations people had to handcraft them. But as the years went on they finally became mass produced and sold to everyone. An entire Halloween-themed genre of music was made and became a must-have for Halloween festivities.

In the late twentieth century and now people held parties and community centers would hold large festive celebrations and games for the whole community to enjoy. Schools would have games and parties for children of all ages.

Halloween from its roots to its fun-filled gourd has been celebrated wholeheartedly. Families gather excited and ready for the special once-a-year holiday to begin.