Halloween (AE-5)

The History Of Halloween

Summary

Halloween was one of my childhood favorites, and unlike some of the other holidays, I had no idea what the purpose of Halloween was. But I also didn't care because I was just happy with all of the free candy I would stuff my face full of. I'm not going to lie either, I still have no clue what the point is, but just keep reading and we will find out everything about Halloween together!

When And Where Did It Start?

Halloween now is every October 31st as most people know. But before this Halloween day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. The Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became interconnected. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain (festival marking end of harvest season), when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. The Celts lived over 2,000 years ago in Ireland in Europe, so it's thought to have originated from there and from then.

Rome would end up taking over the Celts, and by 609 A.D. Pope Boniface IV and the church would make November 2nd All Souls Day, to honor the dead. It was celebrated almost the same as Samhain, with festivals, big bonfires, and dressing up as Saints. Eventually the names changed to All Hallows eve and eventually Halloween.

How Halloween Came To America

Celebration of Halloween was very limited in New England because of the protestant belief systems there. Halloween was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups as well as the American Indians met, a different version of Halloween began to emerge. The first American celebrations included play parties, public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischievous things  of all kinds. By the time of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere else.In the other half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, mostly the Irish people helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally.

Some Halloween Traditions Now

Many of the things we celebrate for Halloween, are both the same, and some are very different. Some current traditions are Trick or Treat, costumes, haunted attractions, and carving pumpkins. Read below for in depth details of each of the traditions.

Trick or Treat!

Ahh every person's favorite part of the holiday, and probably most know about. Borrowing or stolen from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s trick-or-treat tradition. Women believed that on Halloween they could find the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors. In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to make Halloween into a holiday more about community than about ghosts, and pranks. And, old tradition was actually pranking, and that was part of the trick part of trick or treat. Today, it's just the treat part when you go door to door, and for most parents I think they're perfectly fine with out having the trick part from the teenagers. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties were about games, foods of the season like now we have pumpkin spice everything, and festive costumes which we also see today.

Costumes

Halloween costumes are normally made to take after supernatural figures such as monsters,or things from movies. But now in the United States at least the costume selection got bigger, and in my opinion better.I mean who does love seeing a guy dressed in a banana costume, wearing our presidents face?  Wearing costumes became popular for Halloween parties in the US in the early 20th century, as often for adults as for children. I think that costumes are just a way to express yourself, what you like and your personality. Halloween would not be as close to as great as it is if people just went door to door in everyday clothes trick or treating. Halloween also helps the economy because of all of the things that are bought for halloween. Including, the costumes which can get pretty expensive, as well as the crazy amount of candy that is bought in preparation for trick or treaters, decorations, and other things.

Haunted Attractions

In my opinion going to Haunted houses, or going through a corn maze with friends is the most fun thing to do during Halloween time. One of the first haunted houses opened in 1915, but it was more like a carnival fun house. It also helps with making money since it cost me 40$ to get into Niles Haunted House, which to me is quite a bit. But, honestly it is worth the money, you will have so much fun at a haunted house it's exhilarating. But, if you're one of those people who don't like scary things then going to a corn maze is more your style. It's not scary at all, but is still a lot of fun, highly recommend both.

Pumpkins

People today are some suckers for pumpkins. Whether is be carving pumpkins, putting a normal pumpkin on your porch, eating pumpkin food, or drink anything pumpkin flavored, during Halloween time people can't get enough of it! This all came about because of a story about Stingy Jack, who tricked the devil many times and, got the devil to make sure he never takes his soul. But, when he died God decided he didn't want a man like that to come into heaven. The devil kept his word and never took Jack's soul but instead sent Jack out in the night with just a coal to lead the way. Jack put the coal in a turnip and went about. That is also why pumpkins have the name Jack O’ Lantern. Previously people used turnips instead of pumpkins, and carved scary faces in them and placed it in their window to scare of Jack and any other evil spirits.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Halloween is the current name from which it was called Hallow's Eve and All Saints day, originated from the Celts who were located in Ireland. The Celts would then be conquered by Rome, and the Romans would pretty much take the idea from the Celts, but instead they would call it All Saint's Day, to celebrate those who have made it to heaven. Most of the celebrations are the same, but a little bit changed up from the years, and things are celebrated but are changed from how it was previously 100 years ago. Even though many things have changed, people and kids especially, love Halloween. And, even though they don't know the whole point of Halloween, as I didn't either, it is still celebrated in many places, and a very popular holiday.

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