This archived article was written by: Valeria Moncada
Halloween is a time for celebration and superstition; it is celebrated on Oct. 31 all around the world. People dress up and go out to have fun. Children Trick-or-Treat and adults go to Halloween parties.
Halloween’s origins go back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. 2,000 years ago, the Celts lived in the area now known as Ireland, the United Kingdom and Northern France. They celebrated their new year on Nov. 1. For them, this day celebrated the end of the summer and the beginning of a dark, cold winter. This time of year was often associated with human death.
The Celts believed that on the night before New Year, the boundary between the living and the dead became blurred. On Oct. 31, Celts celebrated Samhain. It was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to Earth. Celts believed that they returned to cause trouble and damage crops.
The Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Celtic priests to make predictions about the future. These prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
To honor the memory of the event, the Celtic priests built huge sacred bonfires. People gathered at the fires to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During these celebrations, the Celts wore costumes; usually they were animal heads and skins.
During the late 19th century, new immigrants flooded into America. These immigrants helped popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Americans began to dress up in costumes and walk house to house asking for food or money. This practice eventually became today’s “Trick-or-Treat” tradition.
Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began with a Celtic end of the summer festival during which people felt close to deceased relatives and friends. Today’s Halloween ghosts are more fearsome, and our costumes and superstitions are scarier too.
Many people love Halloween simply because it’s fun to go to haunted houses; they love the adrenaline rush that they get when there is a man dressed up as Jason chasing them with a chainsaw. Others like it becauseww they love to Trick-or-Treat. Some say it’s just fun to see all the children dressed up and be happy with their bags full of candy. Personally, I love being able to dress up as a completely different person and letting the world see a side of me that they would never see on a regular day.
Whether we are trying to avoid black cats or going house to house asking for candy, Halloween is a time to join with our families and friends and simply have a good time. What better way to enjoy Halloween than to scare your friends or walk around every neighborhood collecting candy from strangers?