The holiday of overpriced candy and stomachaches is coming soon, y’all.
Halloween, like many holidays, carry bits of ancient traditions from past celebration. Now listen, knowing the history of modern celebrations might serve you well on game shows or turning your Twitter handle into something spooky.
Halloween originated from a Celtic festival called Samhain. The customs of wearing costumes and the occasional bonfire remained relevant to the October holiday. The Celtics believed the inauguration of the dark, during November first, was a time when the worlds of the living and dead would blend together. Costumes were used to ward off or frighten the spirits away and food was left outside a person’s doorstep to keep the spirits occupied. It was believed the dead would tamper with the crops, so people tried their best to prevent such mischief.
Now, instead of dressing for a purpose, adults appropriate cultures for Halloween and teens like to slutify public servant jobs. Millennials enjoy spending their hard earned cash on candy.
The use of the bonfire was directed towards Celtic priests, or Druids. Because the people during this time relied on the natural world, predictions about the future offered a sense of comfort. Druids burned crops and sacrificed animals around the fire like livestock or middle schoolers. Their predictions about how the harsh winter would treat them were initiated as the fire burned.
The name of Halloween originated when the Roman Empire conquered the Celtic lands. The Roman Popes overlapped Samhain with All Saint’s Day, or All Hallow’s Eve. All Saint’s Day and Samhain are celebrated similarly, if not the same. All Hallow’s Eve soon became as we know it today,
Once Halloween made it’s way to America, it was celebrated with stories about the dead, fortune telling, and now hangovers and smudged clown makeup. That is how the Celtic holiday was tokened its undertones of spook. It wasn’t until around 1846 when Halloween began gaining popularity during the Ireland potato famine.
While the holiday was becoming a popular blowout, Halloween began shifting attention to younger audiences. It was agreed that parents, and the community, should convert to making the holiday safe for kids. Over the twentieth century, the ancient holiday had lost most, if not all, of it’s creepy intentions.
Because of booger-filled, greedy children, the fun of animal sacrifices and a night of actual terror was killed. As much as we’d like to bring back the practice of human sacrifice, we’ll just give them candy instead.
The modernization of trick or treating was developed in Medieval Britain. It was called Souling. Souling usually happened on the day of All Soul’s Days when the needy would ask for Soul Cakes. The tradition soon developed into a custom for Halloween.
Trick or treating grew in recognition in America, but it was focused on the tricks rather than the treats. For Halloween to fit into a child-friendly environment, the tricks lost their popularity.
Slowly but surely the sweets given to us morphed into pretzels or toothbrushes instead of toothaches and candy bars. Our long walks to the rich neighborhoods are becoming pointless.
The history and altering of Halloween has caused it become a commercial holiday. Every year, the country gains 2.2 billion dollars in profits from products in correlation to the celebration.
Halloween has become one of the most anticipated holidays in Western culture and soon the waiting will pay off… for kids of course, not people with a carton of eggs and rolls of toilet paper.