October 31st, 2016
Halloween: A Brief History
It’s that time again! Being the spookiest event of the year, Halloween is an internationally loved holiday, celebrated by many across the world. But if you were wondering where it all began, here are some fun facts about the history of Halloween and how it became such a widely loved festivity.
To begin, Halloween is a highly superstitious holiday, just like the black cat, walking under ladders and breaking a mirror. It is believed that Halloween originated from an old Celtic festival. Back then people put all their faith into making the most elaborate costumes and lighting bonfires to ward off spooky creatures such as ghosts and spirits that had come back to haunt them. In those days, before television, mobile phones and the internet, ghosts ghouls and phantoms were believed to be real, as a lot more faith was put in stories and tales of what people had witnessed.
Pope Gregory the third was originally the man behind the date – believing that the thirty-first of October was to be ‘All Hallows Eve’. It was decided that this was the day that the people should honor those that had come back from the dead. Over time ‘All Hallows Eve’ turned into ‘Halloween’, a shortened term that emerged as the years went on. The Celtics originated from the area now known as Ireland, and the tradition grew into (now known as) Britain and Northern France. When people started traveling and immigrants made their way to the US, they brought their ‘Hallows Eve’ traditions with them.
As the Halloween phenomenon spread across the country and eventually across the world, it became apparent that it needed to become more child-friendly. This started the various festive traditions of apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, and trick or treating. Pumpkins were the vegetables of choice to carve, as Halloween falls on the beginnings of winter and the cold months, also known as pumpkin season! They were used as lanterns to bring light in the dark, and carved into grotesque faces to ward off evil spirits.
Trick or treating was a later addition, starting in the 1950s during the major baby boom. Communities wanted to become more involved with one another and going from door to door and engaging with neighbors was a socially easy and inexpensive way to do so.
These various wacky and wonderful events along the Halloween timeline beginning almost 2000 years ago have all contributed to this widely celebrated, honored and loved spooky festive holiday! We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and Happy Halloween!