Eva Carlston Academy
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The Origins Of Halloween: The Spookiest Time Of All

Halloween is a spooky holiday beloved by all old and young. From trick-or-treating to ghastly ghouls sitting on our front porch, it’s something we’re all too familiar with. Everybody that celebrates this holiday can be seen with costumes, face painting, and candy collectors in hand on October 31st, the spookiest day of all! 

How Halloween Started

At Eva Carlston Academy, it is important for us to educate ourselves and our students about our culture, so we took a deep dive into the history of Halloween and why we celebrate this fun holiday. 

The origin of Halloween started just how you imagined, with an ancient past. Almost 2,000 years ago, the Celtics held the Festival of Samhain the night before November 1st, which was the celebration of the new year. The day marked the end of summer and the beginning of the dark cold winter months before them. 

The Celts believed that the night before their new year, October 31st, was when the veil between the living and the dead became blurred. These spirits were believed to damage their crops and cause trouble. Since the veil was believed to be thin, it was also said the Celtic priests were able to make predictions.

To celebrate this event of the priests delivering their prophecies, massive bonfires were held where the townspeople could come and give sacrifices. Oftentimes, wearing costumes in an attempt to tell each other’s fortunes. Eventually, the Roman Empire conquered the Celtics, but that doesn’t mean that the spooky holiday was dead, it was more alive than ever before, and thus, the tradition was carried on, all the way to colonial times, New England. 

The celebration of Halloween was extremely limited when it attempted to come to colonial New England, due to their hardcore Protestant belief. Although, as different ethnic groups began to blend, an American version of Halloween began to emerge. 

Why Halloween Is The Best Holiday

Halloween is enriched with a deep history, and by the 19th century, Halloween was booming with ghost stories and mischief-making and as America welcomed immigrants into the country, they began to see the holiday take on more popularization. 

American’s saw the European tradition of dressing up and going from door to door and asking for food or money and decided to borrow a few (or all) aspects from this practice. Women often believe they could see the name of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, mirrors, or apple pairings. 

In the late 1800s, it was clear that this holiday was becoming more about community building, parties, and candy than it was about its grim sacrificial beginnings. This holiday began to bring neighborhoods together and form the notion of knowing who you live next to. Parties and decorations adorned people’s houses and became more commercialized than ever before with horror movies, children’s costumes, and more. 

Halloween has a unique and complicated history involving the Celtics, Romans, Europeans, and Americans. When it first started it was far from what we know of it today, and thank goodness for that! Now, especially at Eva Carlston Academy, bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins, and dressing up is as far as we get with this undead holiday. 

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