The Origins of Halloween

No one really knows the exact origins of Hallows Eve, or Halloween, but historians believe it began around two thousand years ago. Hallows Eve originated from a Celtic tradition called Samhain, which takes place on November 1st.  On October 31st, the eve of Samhain was called Hallows Eve, which was later shortened to Halloween. On that day, Celtics believed that the dead came out of their graves and become ghosts. The Celts left food and wine for ghosts in fear of them, and dressed up as ghosts to confuse and get rid of the real spirits. The Celtic believe that because the Earth’s organisms are dying, the weather is colder. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III converted Samhain into All Saints’ Day where people honor and worship the saints in heaven.

The church also made All Souls’ Day which is the day after All Saints’ Day. In All Saints’ Day, the poor people go from house to house to get soul cake, and in return, they pray for their neighbors dead relatives. This tradition is called Souling. In the medieval times, the tradition called Guising gained popularity. Guising was when young people went out in the streets to get offerings like food, beverages, and money. In return, they sang, read poetry and told jokes for the offerings.

In the nineteenth century, Irish immigrants came to America and brought these traditions with them. As a result, trick or treating for citizens to get money or food and dress up of animals, devils, and angels became part of our modern tradition of Halloween.