Some History On Your Favorite Spooky Holiday

By Saron Messay

As October is quickly coming to an end, we gear up to celebrate one of the world’s most unique holidays. Though we celebrate by indulging with all our favorite candies, do we really know where the fascinating history of Halloween came from?

Check out these origins to see where Halloween traditions first started according to history:

Celtic Origins

 Most scholars agree Halloween as we know it started some 2,000 years ago, when Celtic people in Europe celebrated the end of the harvest and the start of a new year in a festival called Samhain. It was also a time of communing with otherworldly spirits, with big bonfires lit in honor of the dead, The American Folklife Center explains.

 Christian Influence

Fast forward a few centuries, and even more changes arrive. Several Christian popes attempted to replace “pagan” holidays like Samhain with events of their own design. By 1000 A.D., All Souls’ Day on November 2 served as a time for the living to pray for the souls of the dead. All Saints’ Day, assigned to November 1, obviously honored saints but it was also called All Hallows. That made October 31 All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween.

English Traditions

Despite the new religious focus, people in Old England and Ireland continued to associate the time with the wandering dead. They set out gifts of foods to please the spirits, and as time wore on, people would dress in scary costumes in exchange for treats themselves—a practice called “mumming,” which is similar to today’s trick-or-treating.

What We Know Today

Trick-or-treating skyrocketed in popularity by the 1950s, when Halloween became a true national event. Today, over 171 million Americans celebrate the holiday — and spend about $8.4 billion on it per year.

For more history on the origins of Halloween or other holiday content, check out Good Housekeeping.

Safety Tips To Keep in Mind This Halloween

As you plan your Halloween this year, make sure to keep these tips in mind to ensure a safe and fun celebration for your family.

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