The History behind Halloween

Alexandria Goodson, Staff Writer

Many students have said “Trick or Treat” or the more humorous “Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat” and you know the rest. But do any of us really know how wearing costumes and trick or treating started? Would you have guessed as a New Year’s Eve celebration?

“I was bored and got curious so I looked up how Halloween started and they [Celts] wore costumes and danced around a fire,” said junior Clayton Allmon when asked what he knew about the history of Halloween.

Around 2,000 years ago, the Celts celebrated a new year on November 1st because it marked the end of summer and the start of harvest and the beginning of winter. Winter was a season that was often associated with death. Celts believed that the night of October 31st, the boundary between earth and the afterlife fades so they would dress up and dance around a bonfire to scare ghosts away. Celts called it Festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) which translates into Festival of November.

In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III appointed November 1st as a day to honor Saints. Soon, All Saints Day was incorporated with the traditions of Samhain. The night before All Saints Day was known as All Hallows Eve, later to be known as Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a night of activities like trick-or-treating, wearing costumes, and carving jack-o-lanterns.