The Origin of the Spookiest Holiday

Halloween is always a fun time, no matter how you celebrate it!

Grae Stockhausen, News Section Editor

Halloween is the day where kids dress up in costumes of their favorite superheroes or characters and go trick-or-treating for candy. Parents give out candy to eager kids excited for the sugar rush. No matter how old you get, the holiday never gets old!  But do you ever stop and wonder where this holiday originated from?

Halloween originated as an ancient Pagan festival called Samhain, which is still celebrated today by Pagans around the world. The Pagans believed that the line between this world and the next became especially thin on that night and allowed them to communicate with the dead. They would wear costumes, most commonly consisting of animal skins and heads, and would dance around a largely lit bonfire to ward off demons. A common practice was also to have feasts in the comfort of their own homes, believing to be safe from the evil spirits that haunted the night. They would also make lanterns out of gourds by carving out the inside and putting a lit candle inside, which is why we make jack-o-lanterns to this day.

Another bit of history is that Halloween comes from the date of All Hallows’ Eve, which means “hallowed evening”. All Hallows’ Eve is celebrated on October 31st, then All Saints’ Eve is celebrated on November 1st, both holidays paying homage to saints.

The darker traditions that were practiced during this time evolved into fun and light-hearted games. One popular game is bobbing for apples, which was an old fortune-telling game for women to decide which suitor would become her future husband. Another popular fortune-telling game is staring into the mirror, hoping to catch a glimpse of what could happen in the future. 

Whether you celebrate the holiday traditionally with a variation of the Celtic ritual or go trick-or-treating with your friends, it’s always nice to know the history of the scariest holiday that we celebrate and how to appreciate it.