To Grow // Halloween 101
Posted on October 24 2018
What’s not to love about Halloween? Trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, eating sweet treats and dressing up in fun costumes all make for a festive celebration. We love learning the background and traditions associated with holidays celebrated around the world. Do you know the origins of Halloween? Neither did we so we thought we would share our top 10 findings of our new found knowledge of this spook-tacular holiday.
Halloween 101 - Origins of Halloween
1. Halloween has its roots in a 2,000 year old ancient Celtic festival (called Samhain, pronounced ‘sow-in’)
2. The day marked the end of summer/harvest and the beginning of winter/death
3. Samhain, which turned into Halloween, marks the day when the boundary between the living and the dead becomes blurred
4. It was believed that ghosts returned to earth on this day to cause trouble
5. Sacred bonfires were built as sacrifices to Celtic dieties in exchange for protection from the spirits. Masks and costumes were worn so the ghosts would not recognize the people.
6. By the 800s, Christianity replaced older Celtic rituals and All Soul’s Day replaced Halloween
7. 'Soul cakes' were left outside of homes to feed the hungry ghosts and prevent them from entering the house. The practice of ‘going a-souling’ turned into trick-or-treating.
8. All Souls Day, preceded by All-Hallows Eve, was celebrated in the same fashion as Samhain with bonfires and costumes
9. A distinctly American version of Halloween emerged in colonial New England with public celebrations featuring the telling of ghost stories
10. In the late 1800’s, America molded Halloween into a community event and neighborly gathering with a request to remove all things frightening and grotesque out of the celebrations
So there you have it - now you know how it all began. Have a Happy Halloween!