Halloween hollows with history

Conner Harris ‘19, Photo Editor

It is getting to that time of year again, when the leaves begin to change colors, pumpkins show up at stores to be carved, and talk about costume ideas and parties return. Whether it be the costumes, the trick-or-treating, or the spookiness, everyone has that one thing that makes Halloween for them, truly Halloween.

But where does the spooky season we know come from? With Halloween right around the corner, I figured it was fitting to learn about the history of the holiday that the U.S celebrates every Oct. 31.

To gain an understanding of where students thought the famous holiday originated from, multiple students were asked about their knowledge of the holiday’s history.

Senior Jonathan Petito, was on point with his answer; “[Halloween] comes from All Hallows Eve where people dressed up to scare ghosts away.”

Petito’s answer is the tip of the iceberg. Halloween originates from the Celtic festival of Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season and took place the night of Oct. 31. Along with a bonfire and animal sacrifices, the Celts, according to the History Channel “wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes.”

Halloween has a long history beginning over 2000 years ago, but how did it come to America like we know it today?

Halloween remained popular in Europe ,but as a holiday, it did not cement itself into the early colonies because of the strict Puritan beliefs that controlled New England. As time passed and different cultures began to diffuse, Halloween became a time of storytelling and parties in the later part of colonial America.

After the U.S. formed, and in the later portion of the nineteenth century, many Irish immigrants flooded America in the wake of the Irish Potato Famine. It is from the Irish tradition that modern day Halloween comes from. Americans adopted the tradition of children dressing up in costumes and going door to door (although in the early days it was for food or money).

With the length and journey that Halloween has been through to become what it is today, it is important to know how it has become the spooky day we celebrate every year.

Photo courtesy of history.com

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