The origin of Halloween date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).
BY DACIA JACKSON
Halloween is a holiday celebrated in various countries. The act of knocking on someone’s door and asking for candy is a widespread practice in America. More people in various countries and cultures seem to be celebrating Halloween every year, which makes it that much more unusual that no one really knows the reason behind Halloween.
So here it is, Halloween from the beginning to now. The origin of Halloween.
According to various internet sites I researched, the origins of Halloween are grim. They root from an ancient civilization in what is now Northern France, Ireland, and the U.K. They were known as the Celtics. Many people were polytheistic, such as Mesopotamians, Aztecs, Mayan, or ancient Egyptian civilizations.
Nov. 1 was known as the New Year and the start of the cold winters. The winter months were associated with death since harsh climates and lack of food or water caused people to perish.
According to History.com, the season of death started on Nov. 1. Celts believed the day before, Oct. 31, was a day the doors between the worlds of the dead and living swung open; and all the fallen were allowed back on earth to reunite with their families as ghosts for one night. This was at the time known as Samhain.
Celts not only believed their loved ones would visit them on this day, but also priests could receive prophecies about the dangerous season and provide comfort. Celtics associated this celebration with costumes consisting of animal skin and heads or things they collected while hunting.
Christianity had spread to the Celtics by the ninth century, and churches eventually began to celebrate a holiday on Nov. 2. The holiday replacing Samhain was known as All Souls Day.
All Soul’s Day was a holiday where people would dress up as saints, angels, and devils, make big bonfires, and have lots of parades. All Saint’s Day was then on Nov. 1. The celebrations are also known as All-hallows or All-hallowmas (the word originates from Alholowmesse). And the day before this (Oct. 31) was called All-Hallows Eve and then eventually Halloween.
How did a Celtic holiday make its way to America? Believe it or not, Halloween was not a widespread holiday in Great Britain because of the various religions. In contrast, it was much more common in America, especially in our southern states.
From a teen’s perspective, Halloween is a fun excuse to eat lots of candy, hang out with family and friends, and go house to house, up and down neighborhoods, asking for candy.
When I was younger, we attended Lowry Park Zoo or a trunk or treat at our schools and only accepted candy from neighbors we knew and family members.
This year, there are many activities throughout the Bay area and Orlando if you decide on attending. For example, Boyd Hill’s (Field of Screams). A little farther away in Tampa, Lowry Park Zoo has Creatures of the Night, and Busch Gardens has Howl-O-Scream. Don’t forget Halloween Horror Nights is held in Orlando at Universal Studios.
Locally, each year there are church events, trunk or treat at local schools, and neighborhood trick or treating. The City of St. Petersburg is also holding Halloween on Central this year from 12-5 p.m.
Dacia Jackson is a teen journalist, author, and artist with aspirations of becoming an attorney. She is currently pursuing an interest in journalism while attending a Florida online school. Dacia is honest, ambitious, and tenacious, so her column will always be truthful, extraordinarily unique, and hopefully impactful.