DAA Daily

History of Halloween

By: Larissa Chalouhi, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint

Halloween is a famous holiday that is widely celebrated worldwide each year, on October 31. This tradition originally came from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which is where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to keep bad spirits and ghosts away from them and their loved ones. 

The Celts were a collection of tribes that lived in central Europe. They shared similar beliefs, similar language and similar culture. Their group started to spread throughout western Europe including Britain, France, Ireland and even as far as Spain where they lived almost 2,000 years ago and where some traces of their language are still identified today. 

The Celts believed that the new year started on November 1, when the border between the living and the dead weakened. Therefore, on October 31, they celebrated Samhain because it was believed to be the specific time the ghosts of the dead returned to earth and lingered around with the living. They re-lit their hearth fires after the festival was done using the sacred bonfire to help protect them from the approaching winter.

In relation to the Celts, the Romans traditionally celebrated the passing of the dead. The second day was to show the importance of the Roman goddess of fruit and trees, whose name is Pomona. Her iconic symbol was the apple which explains the Celts tradition of bobbing for apples that is also practiced and still celebrated in the modern day on October 31. 

Over the years, the ideology of Halloween has remained the same but the way that it is celebrated has modernized and changed throughout the world. Many children dress up in scary costumes and bob for apples or go around neighborhoods spreading the word of the Celts and Romans. 

All around the world, there are different ideas of Halloween. For example, the Day of the Dead, which is celebrated in Mexico to honor the deceased. They both have the same decorations, as well as sweets and skeletons everywhere to imitate the human body. In England, they celebrate Guy Fawkes day along with Halloween, which is when the English ignite bonfires and light fireworks every November 5, which marks the event when angry citizens proceeded to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James. 

Halloween has many similarities to other cultural celebrations and its history continues to be memorialized every year. 

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