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  • Leopold Pantazis

The history of Halloween

Every year millions of people dress up in costumes, ring on people's doors and ask for candy, all whilst having an exciting time. But I always ask myself: why do we do this and how did we get here?

The word Halloween originates from "Hallow", meaning holy person, and "een", a contraction of eve. Halloween finds its origins all the way back in the time of the ancient celtic pagans and their festival Samhin. In this festival they believed that the world of the living and the dead overlapped. So, they lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward of these spirits.

Later, as Christianity spread to Scotland, November 1 was used as a day to celebrate or honor the Christians. This day was called All Saints Day. The night before became Hallows eve or Halloween. On Halloween people were very scared and superstitious and they thought that witches and other beings would emerge on this day. So, rituals and ceremonies took place to scare these beings.

In the 19th century immigrants from Scotland brought their own traditions, such as Halloween, to America where the seriousness of Halloween was diminished and turned into a sort of celebration which companies could capitalize of by selling lots of fun costumes and decorations which fit the theme of Halloween.

That brings us to today, where Halloween is still celebrated all around the globe with its many twists such as trick or treating. Even though these things are far from what Halloween used to be, the general theme of Halloween is still preserved, being the celebration of ‘’spooky’’ or supernatural beings.

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