History of Halloween
By Nicholas Granato
When I was growing up, Halloween was always an exciting time around my grandparent’s house. Not because of Trick-or-Treating or candy, but because of the decorations! My grandpa took so much pride in his house around Christmas and Halloween, but October at the McDevitt’s was something really special. You could see the lights from blocks away! People even drove to our neighborhood to trick-or-treat at our house, and we got endless fun out of spooking the parents and seeing their kids laugh. My grandpa always enriched his community with love, joy, and decorations.
So, how did Halloween evolve over the years: from a celebration of death and rebirth, to a commemoration of those we’ve loved and lost, to today’s far more commercialized celebration of all things spooky?
Possibly originating from a day of celebration in ancient Ireland, Samhain, Halloween has spanned the ages as a time to celebrate the end of the growing season, reconnect with those we’ve lost, and bring good fortune to the new year. By the 9th century, October 31st was being celebrated as All Hallows’ Eve throughout the western world in conjunction with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day in the following days. But how did it make it to the United States? As it originated as an ancient Celtic festival in Ireland, it makes sense that Irish immigrants brought it (and a fun story about a man named Jack of the Lantern) with them when they immigrated to the United States in the mid-1800s. As time went on, Halloween continued to evolve as different societies and people adopted the holiday and put their own spin on it. From an ancient celebration of life and death in Ireland, to a celebration of the coming days of worship, to today’s celebration of spooky costumes, candy, and fun, Halloween has been bringing people together for centuries.
This holiday season, remember to continue the tradition of celebrating the communities around us. From us here at Childpeace, to your own families, to the other families on your block: have a happy holiday, have fun, and stay safe!
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