Just like other holidays and important events, Halloween has evolved a lot since it started thousands of years ago. As one of the world’s oldest holidays, it has been celebrated today by more individuals from different parts of the world than ever before.
The term Halloween was originally spelled as “Hallowe’en,” which is contraction of All Hallows Eve, a term for the day before All Hallows Day, otherwise known as All Saints Day. The latter is a Catholic holiday celebrated on November 1 since the early Middle Ages where Christian saints along with martyrs are commemorated.
The history of Halloween originates in the ancient Celtic festival regarded as Samhain, a celebration of the end of the harvest season in the Gaelic culture. The ancient Gaels believed that, on October 31, there is an overlapping of the boundaries between the world of the living and the dead. At the same time, the deceased would come back to life and will cause havoc like sickness. Based on the prehistoric observance, Halloween used to mark the end of summer and the onset of winter where people celebrated it with sacrificial offerings, homage to the dead, feasts, and bonfires.
Like the Celts, the European people during that time also believed the same thing; that the spirits of the dead would came to visit the earth during Halloween. However, they feared that the spirits would hurt them or cause problems, which is why during the night they wore costumes to look like ghost and other evil creatures. They believed that by doing such, the spirits would think they’re also dead and they would remain unharmed. As the Europeans migrated to the United States, they brought such tradition with them.
“Trick or treat” entered the picture when there was an increasing number of Halloween pranks and mischief during the 1920s and 1930s. Schools and communities want to curb the increasing number of vandalism that’s why they encouraged the “trick or treat” concept. But the practice we do and see today where children wear costumes doing “trick or treat” started only during the mid-1940s.
Today, Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday next to Christmas and is the third biggest party being celebrated yearly behind New Year as well as Super Bowl Sunday. Men and women of every age now celebrates Halloween in different ways like decorating their homes, wearing odd costumes, joining parades, and more. But we all have to remember, as long as we celebrate Halloween in a safe and happy way, then there’s no problem with celebrating it in different ways.