By: Amanda Holt
The first pinpoint of Halloween is in the Celtic culture. The Celtics were people who lived 2,000 years ago in modern-day Ireland, UK, and Northern France. They had a festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in) which was the end of the harvest festival. It was thought to be the end of summer and the beginning of a cold, dark winter which was associated with human death. The festival was held on October 31st because it was the night they believed the living world and the dead world blurred and ghosts could cause a commotion. They would build bonfires to burn animals and crops and wore costumes.
The Romans soon took control of the Celtic people and the cultures mixed. Samhain was combined with two other Roman ends of harvest festivals. Soon Christianity took the Roman empire. The Pope created All-Saints day to honor the dead and put it on November 1st. It evolved into All-Souls day, celebrated on November 2nd. This day was to honor the dead by lighting bonfires, dressing up as saints, angels, and devils. This was later called All-Hallows, then All-Hallows Eve, then Halloween.
As colonists came to New England and Maryland, Halloween did too. Mixing with the Native American culture a fall festival of sorts spread in the colonies. They would have parties celebrating the end of harvest were they would tell ghost stories, sing, dance, and dress up. As the years went on, a tradition of asking for money and food from other houses formed, leading to the tradition of Trick-or-Treating. As the years went on Halloween was never forgotten and is still celebrated today.
Today Halloween is dressing up in costumes of all kinds, Trick-or-Treating, having parties, watching scary movies, telling ghost stories, buying scary decorations for your house, and many more. Halloween is not religious-affiliated anymore and includes all ages in the celebrations on October 31st.