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What Is Halloween About?

Halloween Facts, Halloween Trivia, Halloween Candy & Pumpkin Carving History

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The Origins of Halloween

What is Halloween about? you may ponder as the skeletons, spiders and other spooky decorations begin to appear. It is believed that Halloween history dates back about 2,000 years ago to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain when the Celts would celebrate their new year on Nov. 1. Halloween history closer to what we know as Halloween today began when Pope Gregory designated Nov. 1 as All Saints' Day to honor all saints and martyrs. Halloween trivia buffs know that the evening before All Saints' Day was All Hallows' Eve, which is what we now celebrate as Halloween.

Halloween origins show that Oct. 31 signified the end of summer with the harvest and the beginning of the dark and scary, cold winter ahead. Celts of Halloween history believed that the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead melded together, and to commemorate the event they would have bonfires and dress in costumes. These Halloween origins extended over history even through the Roman Empire. And Halloween history in colonial and early America shows us how the traditions made their way into what we know as Halloween today.

Early Halloween history was limited in colonial New England because of the strict Christian views in the area, so they began mostly in southern areas of the country. Halloween origins and traditions in the region involved events to celebrate the harvest and included fortune telling, telling of ghost stories and playing pranks. Halloween origins began to spread rapidly after the mid 1800s when immigrants, especially from Ireland due to the potato famine, travelled to the new world. Taking from Halloween origins and traditions from Irish and English settlers, Americans began to partake in the festivities and would dress up in costumes and go from home to home asking for food and money, like the poor citizens from the homeland had done.

Halloween history in America evolved from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s, and by 1950 Halloween became a popular holiday thanks to the baby boom. Halloween themes like trick-or-treating were revived and were a way communities could share in the celebration. As in Halloween history, everyone dressed up in costume, too, which symbolizes the frightful time when people were afraid to leave their homes on All Hallows' Eve and encounter ghosts; masks and costumes would lead the spirits to think they were one of them. Knowing the answer to what is Halloween about makes the holiday even more fun.
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