The History Behind Halloween

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Sierra Romanski, Writer

Halloween is one of the core holidays, you either love it or hate it. Everyone knows it as the holiday where the veil between the living and the dead opens and the supernatural supposedly come out. However, is this actually and what is the origin story for the holiday?

Halloween first began with the Celtics. They celebrated their own holiday called Samhain, which was where summer ended and fall began. They associated the crop death and end of harvest season with the blurring of the veil that separates the living and the dead.

On this day, the Celts would host large bonfires to sacrifice animals and burn crops and dress up in various costumes to help commemorate the event. This is where the modern day tradition of dressing up in costumes originated from.

Eventually, the Romans conquered Celtic land and their traditions were mixed. The Romans’ own version of Samhain was called Feralia. In this holiday, the Romans recognized the passing of the dead and held their own celebration.

Halloween first came to America with some of the earliest colonies. Similarly to the Romans and Celtics, the traditions of the Europeans and Native Americans mixed to form a new kind of Halloween that had not been seen before.

After the potato famine, many of the Irish came to the United States and this only helped popularize Halloween in the Americas. Before, most of the country was Protestant and would have nothing to do with the celebration of Halloween for the fear that it was Satanic.

Trick or treating first became popular by people leaving treats out on their front doorstep to hopefully ward off evil spirits from entering the residence. The tradition carried over into modern times.

Each culture celebrated what we now know was Halloween differently. Every culture has had some impact on the holiday, which makes it something to appreciate even more.

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