A History of Halloween

A History of Halloween

Caroline G. and Anna D., Staff Writers

 Everyone loves Halloween: the candy, dressing up, being with friends and family. But where does it come from? Who started Halloween?

    Halloween has changed a lot over the years and was brought to America by immigrants. It started with the ancient festival of Samhain. This was also known as All Hallow’s Eve. It took place at the end of summer. This celebrated a particular religion in Britain and other parts of Europe. At the festival people would light bonfires and wear costumes to scare of ghosts. The people of Celts did this because they believed that the barrier between ghosts and humans was so thin that monsters would walk the surface of the Earth. Halloween also used to be more closer to summer, but the Christians changed it to October 31, the day before All Saints Day.

    Jack-O-Lanterns were also meant to scare away monsters. There were originally made with turnips by the Irish, but when immigrants came to America they couldn’t find enough turnips that were good enough to carve so pumpkins were their best alternative.

    Nobody is positive where trick-or-treating came from, everyone has different theories. Some people think it came from the Celts, who believed that the ghosts of the people who used to live in their house came to visit and see how their house was in. The current homeowners wanted to impress them by giving them treats to please them. They thought the ghost would mess up their farms and frighten the animals. Nobody wants an angry ghost! Another belief is that it originated from a tradition when people went door to door asking for food or “soul cakes”.

    Now kids get bags of candy, dress up as funny or scary costumes, watch movies, and be with friends. It’s all just one big night of fun, but it used to be scared and a time of seriousness for all families.

Fun Fact: Illinois’ most popular candy on Halloween is Kit Kat!