On the 31st of October, everyone celebrates Halloween, but did you know why?
Originally, Halloween was known as All Hallows’ Eve. Some people also know it as All Saints Day, a Catholic holiday to remember saints and martyrs.
Common traditions today include trick-or-treating, dressing up, carving jack-o-lanterns, going through haunted houses, and decorating your house. When Halloween began, it was a Celtic festival called Samhain. Samhain was celebrated by pagans to end summer a prepare for winter. It was believed that on this day, the dead could come back to life. Traditions back then included bonfires to attract bats, masks or costumes to please evil spirits, feasting, sacrifices, and paying your respects to the dead.
The idea for trick-or-treating is thought to have come from the practice of “souling.” This was when the poor went door-to-door offering to pray for the dead in return for food. However, there is no proof that these two activities were directly related.
For more information about Halloween and its history, please visit, http://www.halloweenhistory.org/ or http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/halloween/a/History-Of-Halloween.htm
By Jessica Whitman ’18