The leaves are falling, the weather is turning, and the ghosts and goblins are about to have their day. While Halloween 2020 may not look the same for many, we can still brush up on our history of this haunted holiday.
Well, this holiday has an extensive history that dates back thousands of years. Let’s look at some modern and ancient facts about the holiday, from History.com.
The Holiday Originated with the Celts
The Celts in what is now Ireland celebrated their new year on Nov. 1. On the night of Oct. 31, they held the Samhain festival, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. The land was later ruled by the Roman Empire, and the festival was later folded into some of the Roman traditions for the time.
The church later called the evening All Hallows Eve, and eventually Halloween.
Halloween Grew Slow in America
The holiday was celebrated throughout Europe for many years, but had a slow adaptation in America, because of the puritanical beliefs of the original settlers. Eventually, in the southern colonies, Halloween parties began to emerge.
Trick or Treating
Modern-day trick or treating came about sometime between 1920 and 1950, and families could avoid having tricks played on them by providing children with treats or candy. Today, Americans spend $6 billion on Halloween candy, making it the second-largest commercial holiday, behind Christmas.
The Halloween Rituals that Didn’t Survive
Today children dress up and ask for candy. Friends and family get together to celebrate the time. In Ireland and Scotland, the holiday once took on a match-making focus, helping women to find their future husbands.
There were rituals that involved throwing apple peels over the shoulder hoping that the peels might fall in the shape of her future husband’s initials. The winner of an apple bobbing contest was said to be the next down the aisle. Women might also stand in front of a mirror in a darkened room while holding a candle, in hopes of catching a glimpse at their future husband’s face.
These rituals, and the match-making focus, never quite caught on. The ghoulish focus of the original holiday stuck around in some form, as we celebrate our modern version of the holiday.