How Halloween Started


Emily R., Photojournalist

Emily Roel-Photojournalist                          

Have you ever wondered how Halloween started? Well it originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. At the end of summer, the Celts thought the barrier between our world and the world of ghosts and spirits got really thin. It was part of the ancient Celtic religion in Britain and other parts. On the 1st of November, and All Souls Day on the 2nd of November, thus giving the holiday on October 31st, the full name of All Hallows Eve. Immigrants from Scotland and Ireland brought the holiday to the United States. 

         The term trick or treating wasn’t used until the 1920s, when it was adopted in America. Irish immigrants entering the United States raised the popularity of Halloween during the 19th century. During the 20th century it became more and more popular, like carving pumpkins and trick or treating, it also became part of TVs, books and movies. The Celts who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland. Banquet tables were prepared and food was left out to placate unwelcome spirits. In later centuries people began to dress as ghosts, demons and other creatures, this custom known as mumming dates back to the middle ages. The first mention of trick or treating in print was November 4, 1927. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Halloween is usually celebrated amongst family, friends and co-workers. However, some areas hold large community events. Many children dress up in fancy costumes and visit other homes in the neighborhood. At each house, they demand sweets, snacks or small gifts. However, if your children take part, it is important to accompany them and to check their ‘treats’ to make sure they are safe to eat.

           Halloween is not an official holiday. Government offices and businesses are open as usual and public transit services run on regular schedules. Halloween originated as a pagen festival in parts of Northern Europe. Today’s Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries