Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Halloween? When was this celebration started? What are the Halloween facts-history? Well, we decided to look into it and unearth some facts from the celebration. We want to know why it continues to have a hold in our society today. Let us check the "scary" facts.
- Halloween dates back to about 2,000 years ago. History gives the Celtics the title of originators. Halloween started as a Celtic Festival in the fall.
- The date of November 1 was for the Celtics the end of summer and the harvest. It was celebrated with a festival. It was also the beginning of the winter. Winter season was associated with the dead.
- The Celtics believed that the night previous to November 1, was a night when the world of the living and the dead integrated into one.
- This day was the day of prophecies by the Celtics priests. Hoping that the presence of the dead will bring good news, comfort, and direction for the future.
- The celebration will start with bonfires, the burning of animals and crops as sacrifices. The Celtics will wear costumes which at the time consisted of animals heads and skins. They danced, chanted and predicted each other fortunes.
- The Roman Empire conquered the Celtics and ruled their lands for over 400 hundred years. With this, both cultures and religious traditions went through changes and integration.
- One changed done by the Romans was to the day of all martyrs, created and practiced by the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Boniface. It was moved, from May 13 to November 1 by Pope Gregory. This moved merged the martyr's celebration with the Celtics festival. The Pope also included saints as well as martyrs in the holiday, which brought similarities with the rising of the dead by the Celtics.
- By the 9th Century, Christianity was spread throughout the Celtic lands, and the traditions were combined and changed to look more in the Christian tradition. The festival of the Saints was celebrated with bonfires, parades, and costumes of angels, saints, and demons. A mix of both Celtics and Christian origins.
Halloween comes to America
The celebrations of Halloween in America was more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. With the religious traditions of different European groups and the Native Americans combined, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included “play parties,” where neighbors would share stories of the dead, told each other’s fortunes, danced and sang (Celtic's tradition).
Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common. Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country. With the addition of new immigrants, the tradition started to grow and change.
The arrival of the Irish, fleeing the potato famine, brought their traditions with them. Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money. This practice became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors(Irish traditions)
Shaping into Halloween
By the beginning of the 20th century, Halloween started to look more like a party and less like a harvest tradition. Costumes, parties, and trick or treat were more common in the States.
In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to shape Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers. The move wanted to create a tradition more than just ghosts, pranks and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties became the most common way to celebrate the day. The parties were more about games, foods of the season and festive costumes. Parents, encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations, changed the festivity into a more welcoming party.
Halloween as we know it
As time went on, the festivity grew and changed, adapting and adopting new ideas. It became a secular tradition and by the 1920-1930's centered on parades and town covered parties. During the 1950's baby boom, the parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home. That made the event easier to accommodate. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived.
A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, between candy, costumes, party supplies, and Halloween makeup, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday. Not bad, for a tradition that dates back to about 2,000 years and went to several transitions to evolve into what is known today as Halloween. Check this site for the best Halloween parties around the United States.
How do you celebrate Halloween? Leave us your comments below, and if you need some party supplies, music, makeup or that unique costume check out our affiliates! Have a fun and safe Halloween!
The article "Halloween Facts-History" first appeared at swagandsash.com. All rights reserved. 2016
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