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Archive for the ‘history’ tag

October 31st, 2013 at 12:37 pm

The Story of Halloween



I love Halloween…as a kid and even now. Carving pumpkins, scary stories, costumes, trick-or-treating…we got to be someone or something else for one day and come home with a bag full of candy! But did you ever stop to consider how Halloween came about?

According to, Halloween began as an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced “sah-wen”). People lit bonfires and danced around in costumes to ward off evil spirits and ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III declared November 1st an official holiday, All Saint’s Day, to honor the good saints. Many of the traditions from Samhain were practiced on this day. The night before became known as All Hallow’s Eve, and over the years the name shortened to ultimately become Halloween. In the early days, people carved turnips to ward off spirits, and the poor would go door-to-door in groups, begging for “soul cakes” (small baked goods with raisins) to eat as a means of praying for souls in purgatory. As time went on, it became a rowdy holiday filled with children getting into mischief and wreaking havoc on the neighborhood. People began giving out candy as a sort of “peace offering” in hopes that no one would destroy their property, and held parties to occupy the mischief makers. All these past traditions became what we know now as trick-or-treating, and the turnips became pumpkins (they were easier to carve, of course!). In the 19th century, Halloween became associated with all things “scary,” and holiday-related horror films became popular with the introduction of the slasher movie, “Halloween.”

Of course there was a lot more stuff that happened in between, but that’s the gist of it…isn’t it interesting how things evolved? What’s YOUR favorite part of Halloween?

Photo Credit: interactive360.c0m

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