Halloween is a holiday with a long and varied history. Though it is now primarily associated with candy and costumes, Halloween has roots in pagan and Christian traditions. Halloween started as early as the fourth century with the Celtic festival of Samhain. This festival marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III moved the holiday to October 31st. This date was also All Saints’ Day to honor saints and martyrs.
Today, several countries around the world celebrate Halloween. In the United States, children dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating. Adults often attend Halloween parties where they wear costumes and play games. Many people also decorate their homes with Halloween-themed decorations.
Though its exact origins are unknown, Halloween is now a widely-celebrated holiday. Whether you’re dressing up, going trick-or-treating, or just enjoying some spooky decorations, there’s something for everyone on Halloween.
Halloween traditions from around the world
In Ireland, Halloween is known as Oíche Shamhna. On October 31st, people traditionally light bonfires and dress up in costumes. Children go door-to-door begging for food, and adults often hold parties. The most popular food associated with Halloween is barmbrack, a yeasted bread with raisins.
In the United Kingdom, Halloween is known as All Hallows’ Eve. People typically celebrate by attending costume parties, going to haunted houses, and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns. The most popular food associated with Halloween in the UK is toffee apples.
In the United States, people typically celebrate Halloween by trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns. The most popular candy associated with Halloween in the US is candy corn.
In Canada, people typically celebrate Halloween by going door-to-door, collecting candy, attending costume parties, and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns. The most popular food associated with Halloween in Canada is candy apples.
In Australia, people typically celebrate Halloween by going to parties, dressing up in costumes, and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns. Australia’s most popular Halloween food is lamingtons, a sponge cake coated with chocolate and coconut.
In Germany, people typically celebrate Halloween by attending costume parties and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns. The most popular food associated with Halloween in Germany is Lebkuchen, a gingerbread cookie.
In France, people typically celebrate Halloween by going to parties, dressing up in costumes, and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns. The most popular food associated with Halloween in France is crêpes, thin pancakes.
What did it look like in the past?
The Celts and Samhain
Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which was held on October 31st and marked the end of the harvest season. The Celts thought that the boundary between the world of the living and the dead became blurred. To avert evil spirits, they would light bonfires and dress up.
The Roman Empire and Pomona
When the Romans defeated the Celts in 43 AD, they brought their traditions, one of which was the Pomona festival, which honored the goddess of fruit and trees. This festival was held on November 1st and featured games, feasting, and honoring the dead.
The Spread of Christianity
In the 7th century, Christianity began to spread through Europe. Christian leaders were concerned that pagans would continue celebrating their old festivals and incorporated many of these traditions into Christian holidays. All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows’ Eve, was established on November 1st to honor saints and martyrs. The evening before became known as Halloween.
Halloween in America
Halloween arrived in America with the first European settlers. These settlers brought traditions from their homelands, such as All Saints’ Day and the Pomona festival. Over time, these traditions blended to create the holiday we now know as Halloween.
The Modern Holiday
Today, Halloween is a secular holiday celebrated by people of all ages. It is a time to dress up in costumes, attend parties, and eat candy. Many people also participate in activities such as trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, and visiting haunted houses.
How to celebrate Halloween properly
Choose a costume
A significant aspect of Halloween is choosing the perfect costume. There are infinite options, whether you want to be scary, cute, or funny. You can even dress up as your favorite TV or movie character. Instead of dressing up, you can also get a cute Halloween-themed T-shirt. Here are the top 16 cutest Halloween T-shirts.
Decorate your home
You can also decorate your home to get into the Halloween spirit. You can create spooky decorations like ghosts, witches, and skeletons. You can also carve pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns and make homemade Halloween crafts.
Trick-or-treating is a Halloween tradition for children and adults alike. Dress up in your costume and go door-to-door to collect candy. Make sure to bring a bag or pumpkin to hold all your treats.
Attend a Halloween party
If you want to celebrate with friends, attend a Halloween party. You can dress up, play spooky games, and eat Halloween-themed snacks. Many parties also have themes, like haunted houses or zombies.