The Vast History of Halloween

By: Roshni Patel

What is Halloween?

The history of Halloween has a vast background that includes old traditions like trick-or-treating and carving jack-o-lanterns. It is one of the world's most celebrated and enjoyable holidays. In the past it was linked to Christianity, now it has moved away from a religious belief to a commercial belief.


History...

First, Halloween dates back to 2000 years ago!(history.com) It was known as All Souls' Day on November 2nd, where those that had passed away would be remembered. It began when the old Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in)which means "Summer's end" in Gaelic started( livescience.com). It marked the end of summer and the beginning of the harvest. The old celts believed that giving the devil their crops and animals would mean that he would leave them alone for 1 year states History.com. After the harvest, they would celebrate by dressing up and scaring ghosts away. The idea of dressing up in scary costumes still remains the same today.

Jack-O-Lanterns

Secondly, A tradition that have been going on for years is carving Jack-o-lanterns

(History.com). It originated from an Irish myth of a man named Stingy Jack. As the myth goes, Jack tricked the devil many times and god did not like that. When Jack died he was not allowed to go to heaven or the underworld. He was left wandering the streets with a Piece of coal burning in a Turnip. The Irish and Scottish began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them on windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In the 21st century, people carve Jack-o-Lanterns for fun and decoration.


Trick-or-Treating

Finally, one the most celebrated tradition is trick-or-treating. It started in Ireland when the poor would ask for food from the rich Irish homes.(Live science)They would give them Soul cakes. In return the beggars would have to pray for the homeowners deceased ancestors. This tradition was brought over to the U.S. by the Irish. Now, Instead of giving Soul cakes, many families give candy or sweet treats.


What did they do?

What do we do now for Halloween?