The History of Halloween

Carolina Viegas

The History of Halloween

By Carolina Viegas

Halloween is a popular day in the United States where people get to dress up and trick or treat. Halloween is also a day to celebrate the spooky creatures we have all heard of. Witches, ghosts and werewolves are all popular Halloween creatures. Families carve pumpkins, go to haunted houses and watch scary movies to prepare for the scary day of Halloween. But while you are preparing for Halloween, have you ever wondered where the holiday originated? How did Halloween come to be? 

Halloween started over 2,000 years ago but it was not known as Halloween. It was a festival that the Celtics celebrated that included wearing scary costumes and lighting bonfires to get rid of ghosts. This festival was known as Samhain. Later on it was known as “All Hallows Eve” and was then shortened to “Halloween.” 

As we know, Halloween is on October 31 but there is a specific reason for that. The 31st of October used to be an extremely important day. It resembled the end of summer and the start of Winter. People saw Winter as the season of death and despair. It was believed that on October 31st, the worlds of the living and the dead connected, causing all dead spirits to return to Earth. Many may believe that this was a bad thing. Fortunately, it was not. Since Winter was such a depressing season, so many people longed for reassurance and the knowing of what will happen during this dark season. The connection between the worlds of the living and dead was thought to make the Celtic priests, or Druids, have more accurate predictions of outcomes of the Winter season. This is why the festival of Samhain was such a celebrated festival. It brought reassurance to the Celtics during the depressing time of Winter. The Celtics would perform rituals to connect with the spirits, hence the lighting of bonfires. 

Today, we celebrate this spooky day with fun activities like trick-or-treating and carving jack o’ lanterns. This holiday may not be as sacred as it was back then, but it is still a great tradition we keep to this day.