That's Fresh October Issue - Page 9

In between fall and winter falls the now commercialized holiday we know as Halloween. But where did this holiday originate from? After a bit of research here is what I found regarding how it originated and how it turned into the secular holiday we know today.

Ancient origins started with the Celtic festival of Samhain. It celebrated their new year and marked the end of summer and the harvest. With the days getting shorter and colder this time of year was often associated with death. During the celebration, they had bonfires, dressed in costumes, and fortune tellers.

Later when the roman empire conquered the Celtic territory they merged a Roman festival with the ancient Celtic one. During the comb-ined celebration they commemorated the passing of the dead and honored the gods of the harvest.

In 60 A.D. the catholic holiday called All Martyr's day became established. It honored all saints and martyrs. Throughout time the name changed to All Saints Day, All-Hallows, All-Hallowman, All Hallows Eve, and then finally Halloween.

Halloween was limitedly celebrated and by the nineteenth-century autumn festivals were common but Halloween was not celebrated every-where in the US. Once immigrants flooded America they took on Irish and English traditions. This is when America started dressing up and going door to door trick or treating. In the late 1800's the Halloween holiday was more of a community and neigh-borly event then about ghosts, prsnks, or witchcraft.

By the mid-1900's Halloween was secularized but still a community centered holiday. This now American tradition came with its own set of traditions such as giving children small treats to prevent tricks open played on them.

Halloween has only grown and Americans spend an estimated $16 billion on Halloween this makes it the second largest commercialised holiday in the US.

History of Halloween

By Rebekah Bobb