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History of Halloween

posted Oct 25, 2017, 4:39 AM by Jeffrey Wolf


By: Chloe Schmidt, Staff Writer

Posted October 25th, 2017


Halloween is a holiday that is widely celebrated throughout the nation. Parents buy the candy, kids dress up, and either trick-or-treating or parties take place. Throughout my life, I’ve heard little bits about why we celebrate Halloween, but today I’ve decided to dig deeper and discover the full reason of why we celebrate October 31st.


Using History.com I discovered that Halloween originated from the Celtic festival of Samhain. On this holiday, kind of similar to ours, people would put on costumes and start a bonfire to keep ghosts away. The Celts believed that on the night before November 1st, which was the end of summer and the harvest and the start of the start of dark and cold winter, the lines between the living world and the dead world became blurred. Pope Gregory the III decided in the eighth century that November 1st would be the day saints and martyrs are celebrated. He declared the day before would be All Hallows’ Eve, which later became Halloween. October 31st was also when the Celts believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to the Earth.


The American version of Halloween was formed when European ethnic views and beliefs mixed with Native American views and beliefs. When Irish immigration became more popular, so did Halloween. Halloween is still celebrated in countries like Great Britain, America, and Ireland today.


As you can see, there are multiple complex reasons of why Halloween is celebrated, but it goes back to the point of scaring off ghosts with bonfires and costumes- the costumes part is still used today, just in a different, less scary sense.


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