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A Hallowed History

Jillian Ward, Staff Writer

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Everyone has heard of Halloween, it’s the fun time of the year when you get to dress up as anything you want, and go trick or treating. It’s the season for scaring the socks off your friends, and eating candy until your stomach achs. But although you’ve heard of it I doubt you know the history.

People believe that Halloween, or All Hallows Eve started about 2,000 years ago. It was originally celebrated as the evening before All Saints Day, a christian holiday to honor the saints.  All Saints Day is very similar to a celtic festival called Samhain which mean “summer’s end” in Gaelic. It was thought to be a time of communicating with the dead as well as a day to prepare for the cold winter months that were coming.

Every year millions of kids all over the world go trick or treating.  Why though? Where does that strange tradition of saying trick or treat come from? I’ll tell you.  The common tradition of trick or treating come from “souling” or sometimes “guising”. People would dress up as evil spirits to try to fool the actual spirits into thinking that they were real. Poor families would go up to houses and sing and dance in exchange for for food and money as well as “guising”

The concept of dressing up in costumes on halloween comes from Roman, Catholic, Pagan, and Celtic traditions.  On the evening of Samhain people would dress up to try to scare away any roaming spirits that might have come. They would also do something called mummying. Mummying is when people dress up in costumes, dance, sing , play music, and just have some fun. They believed that the evil spirits were scared of fire, so as a result they would make huge bonfires in graveyards along with a lot of candles to scare them off.

Halloween didn’t start to be a popular holiday until the late 1800”s. The customs came to the U.S. through European immigrants. In beginning Americans would just beg for food at people’s houses. Over time it formed the Halloween we all know and love. So next monday when you’re having a good time dressing up and eating candy take a moment to think about the long history of where this great holiday came from.

Picture and information

http://warehousewars.com/holidays/history-halloween-traditions/

http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

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