As intriguing as it may sound, this primitive celebration has been populated all over the world. From carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lantern to distributing sweets in the neighbourhood, every seeming to rejoice Halloween, no matter what the age.
Nowadays, Halloween has evolved into series of child-friendly activities and can further be customized. If you’re more into typical decorations of prehistoric ghosts, you always have a variety of themes to choose from. This particular aspect of Halloween is what makes it a proof of contentment for every soul.
This event has bountiful names, fluctuating over the centuries. You can call Halloween:
- All Saints’ Eve
- All Halows’ Eve
If you’ve stumbled upon this article to endure yourself within the mysteries of the past, to acknowledge the history of Halloween, you might as well want to sit back firm. As I’m about to unroll ahead of you, open and wide, every inch of the history of Halloween.
This Article Contains:
- Brief Introduction Of Halloween
- Origin Of This Celebration
- Glory of This Event In 21st Century
A Walk To The History Of Halloween
Brief Introduction Of Halloween
Foremost, what exactly is this celebration about?
All Saints’ Eve is a primo event celebration that is acclaimed on the 31st of every October by the western Christians and mostly by non-Christians. Celebrated somewhere between fall and winter, Halloween is a fair measure of the 3-day observance of Allhallow-tide, which is namely to be the time of remembering the departed souls, from saints (hallows) to martyrs, dead people are remembered this day.
The 1st day of Allhallow-tide is a hot lead compelling to start the celebration where people drape themselves into a variety of unique, hilarious outfits and apply face makeup. Halloween, nowadays, is more about representing the trendiest outfit collections every year which makes it more appealing for the teenagers.
Halloween follows a list of intriguing activities that adhere the age group together, regardless of the differences.
The activities include trick or treat, carving the pumpkin, decorating homes, lightening bonfires, visiting haunted mansions, watching horror films, and playing divination games.
Consequently, Christians uphold a different way of celebrating this event. They attend frequent church services, light candles by the grave of those dead, and they keep fasts.
Further, some Christians avoid the consumption of meat during the 3 days of Allhallow-tide, respecting the flesh of the dead. They stick to rejoicing food like apples, soul cakes, pancakes, and of course, sweets and candies.
Origin Of This Celebration:
It is believed that many of the traditions followed by Halloween have been originated from the ancient ‘Celtic Harvest Festival Samhain.’
It was the time where people would light bonfires near their home and wear costumes as an intention of sidetracking the roaming ghosts.
Halloween majorly means ‘Holy Evening’ that is derived from a Scottish term that says, ‘All Hallow’s Eve.’ It was originated back in 1745, considering Christians as its origin.
Eve means even. Conversely, from All Hallows Even to Hallowe’en, it took 2000 years to figure the name out and make it less complexed.
It is said that Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as an honoring time of the year to remember the saints, martyrs, and the faithful departed Christians.
History Of Halloween
Intriguing stories have been passed through generations, the sacred ceremonies and superstitions have evolved into the prehistoric event of Halloween that we celebrate today. Halloween has had its origins in the sacred festival known as ‘Samhain.’
In this event, the celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture is marked. It was a time where honourable Pagans used to carry stocks of supplies and prepare themselves for the forthcoming winter.
Consequently, the preeminent Gaels sustained a chimera that on October 31st, the boundaries between the worlds partitioning the alive and the dead had fallen apart. In a suitable fictional term, they believed that the other side had been destroyed, causing the dead to come back to life as well.
This belief further ignited the existence of zombies, vampires, and other suspicious beings.
Moreover, this entire event of rising of the dead, caused a huge havoc back in the day as diseases were common and so were damaged crops. Men and women would dress themselves into horrifying costumes, igniting huge fires to sacrifice animals and crops for presenting the now-not-so-dead souls with respect.
Once, the Romans had conquered the land that is now distinguished as The United Kingdom, the celebration of Samhain was indulged with Feralia, (a festival that honours the dead) and Pomona (a celebration of the goddess of the harvest.)
Once the Irish had brought along this celebration with them to the United States, back in 1000 BC, the commercialization of this event was the states’ piece of work.
As today, America’s economy generates $6 billion as a revenue yearly, declaring it as the next best celebration, after Christmas. Western countries including Ireland, United States Of America, Canada, The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico were the trend followers to have begun with this event, in the late twentieth centuries.
Halloween is divided into further subcategories that talk of fun, unity, and contentment. Following you will find brief history of the small segments you celebrate during Halloween, and will acknowledge why:
History Of Celebrations Of Bonfire:
As creepy as it may sound, the ‘bon’ in this term is an indication set for the word ‘bones,’ as the original word is said to be ‘bone fire.’ The question that arises is, Why?
Conversely, back in the time of the Celts, there were summer festivals where animal bones were burnt to ward off evil spirits and eyes.
During bonfires, it was believed that the fires attracted the surrounding insects to that area, which further attracted bats. This is what left the existence of bats in almost every decoration that we witness in Halloween season.
It is a carefully carved pumpkin with a high level of efficiency as it is a state of pure art. The summit of the pumpkin is cut off from its body and the flesh inside it is scooped out completely.
Further, to provide an edgy monstrous theme to it, a creepy face is carved outside to make it seem further spooky. Also, the lid on the top is replaced and during the night, most people tend to place a candle inside to intensify the feeling of Halloween, making it seem more festive.
Intriguing History of Trick Or Treating:
This tradition walks way back to middle ages where ‘souling’ was practiced. Here, poor people would go door to door on November 1st of Halloween, receiving food in return of prayers they did for the dead. This idea had been originated in Ireland and Britain.
It is an intriguing activity for mostly children where they are to visit house to house, asking the owners of it for treats. In addition, the ‘trick’ involved in the trick or treat is an indication of a threat that will occur in the way of someone who refuses to offer treats to the children.
Supposedly, if someone from the neighbouring home says no to treats, is most likely to have a trick played on themselves or to their property which is why people, right away, offer these kids bountiful sweets.
This act of celebration is socially accepted in United States of America, Ireland, and in Canada. Furthermore, other media stations and televisions have been encouraging this part of the celebration over the years.
Although, the situation might not be the same in states like Europe and the United Kingdom as the police their sustains the rights to prosecute parents if their kids are involved in any act of performing a trick on the homeowners or their belongings, as it is downright illegal.
Consequently, in Ohio, Lowa, and Massachusetts, Halloween is named as the night of the beggars, that is how low these people think of it.
Shakespeare further addresses this practice of Halloween in his comedy of ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona.’ In this play, there is a distinct part where Speed blames his master of ‘whining like a beggar at Halloween.’
Although a response to this offensive statement was recorded as well as in 1948 Halloween, the children of Madison Square Boys Club carried a parade in the New York City with the main banner reading, ‘American Boys Don’t Beg.’
The optimism is further lurked out as well for this event as the postcards inviting for this event were produced between the turn of the 20th century but there was no significant beginning marked for the tricks or treats ritual as by 1920 there was no evidence for Halloween including this act.
It has been stated by historians that trick or treating spread from west United States of America to the east of America, while the world War II was being preceded.
Though, mainly, this event started evolving around the globe when Walt Disney portrayed it in their cartoon where Ozzie and Harriet were besieged by trick or treaters on an episode of their TV show.
Further, UNICEF made a major step as it conducted a national campaign for children to endure a fundraiser through trick or treat, igniting a source of charity through this prehistorical event.
In addition, In October 1947, issues of the Child Magazine named as Jack and Jill, further intrigued the idea of multiple ways how trick and treat could be a successful bliss.
Halloween Costumes And Their Beliefs
Back in the day, it was believed with vivid evidence that the ghosts had returned to the real, earthly world. As mentioned above, for their personal security, people feared that these ghosts might recognize them as breathing humans once they left their homes.
Celt dressed up in color white, with blackened faces during the festival of Samhain to trick the evil spirits that they believed were around on the 1st of November.
Conversely, to avoid being caught, people would wear horrifying masks and costumes to make ghosts believe that they’re no one but them. Just to be a part of the ghost family, and to save their lives, people would wear spooky clothes that honestly, did save their lives each day.
Glory Of This Event In The 21st Century:
As per mentioned, Halloween is the second best-sacred celebration that takes place after the ranking of Christmas. All the activities are planned out seemingly, following the trend of its origin. Although, there has been fluctuating aspects in the way its celebrated that defer from the prehistoric events occurring back in the day.
People tend to throw massive parties on this day, expecting every soul to rock the trendiest outfits of Halloween. You never know what to expect as all the costumes carry a variety of options to choose from.
Halloween in the 21st century is greatly advertised as people designated in marketing tend to have commercial minds to strategically earn money.
There has been a list of online shops made that typically sell Halloween costumes and themed props.
Though, trick or treats are played as per usual where children visit their neighbours and ask for treats with an innocent smile. This is where neighbours can’t seem to resist and end up showering their baskets with a variety of sweets they’ve specially bought from the local store for Halloween.
The pumpkins are crafted as well. Though there is no particular rule claiming to carve particular designs, Halloween is an event that can be customised according to the level of contentment of that person.
Some people tend to stay at home and endure as a minority to watch horror films, either at home or cinema.
There are a variety of symbols followed on this day in the 21st century, including orange and black that is the most common color used in this event. Other significant symbols include pumpkins, lanterns, wizards, bats, spiders, ghost, spirits, and special characters from whichever movie is person’s interest.
To conclude, Halloween is downright a celebration that may have had different odds in the past but now all it does is unite families, friends and increases the importance of respecting cultures in our upcoming generation every year.