ATHENS ORACLE

The History of Halloween


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Halloween was never about trick-or-treating or candy. It all started on October 31  through November 1 in ancient Ireland. 2,000 years ago on this date the Celts celebrated the Celtic festival of Samhain. The 31 represents the day where spirits can cross in the human realm and choose to destroy summers crops. Where the first marks the day of harvest and surviving the night of ghosts in the town.

“Halloween is practically unrecognizable from what it was like thousands of years ago and, I don’t understand why it’s still even considered a holiday anymore,” said Johnathon Tigges, freshman.
For the festival, the Celts built giant bonfires, dressed in spooky clothes and sacrificed materials to please the ghosts. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

According to History.com, the name Halloween was first used by a Scottish poet named Robert Burns in 1785. The named itself is two words put together: “Hollow” meaning holy person and “een” meaning the evening before. Halloween just an old-fashioned way of saying the night before All Saints’ Day.

The American Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating dates back to the early All Souls’ Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called soul cakes in return for their promise to pray for the family’s dead relatives.

Borrowing from Irish traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go from house to house asking for candy, a practice that eventually became today’s trick-or-treat. Years ago some young women believed that this night could tell them the name or appearance of their future husband. Using apple pairings and mirrors while chanting specific foreign frases they could supposedly see their future.   

“Such a wild time of  the year where anything goes and for really no reason. But does that matter? Who cares as long as everyone has fun and I have an excuse for free candy,” said Sam Deery, freshman.

Halloween has changed a lot and is no longer a feasible about crops or the dead crossing over. Now it is about children trick or treating by going door to door and eating candy. Over 200 years of culture has changed Halloween for the better or for worse.

 

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