A Brief History of Halloween

Today we see the celebration of Halloween and the wearing of Halloween costumes as something of an American holiday because of the way that the US has embraced Halloween as a whole. However, Halloween did not originate in the US and in fact pre-dates the discovery of America by well over 1,400 years.

Halloween originated over 2,000 years ago with the Celts in Ireland, the United Kingdom and France. The Celts would celebrate their New Year on the first of November, which made October 31st, Halloween, their New Year’s Eve, or ‘All Hallow’s Eve’ to give it its full title. The Celts called this day ‘Samhain’, which they believed was the one day of the year where the boundary between our world and the demon world was broken and the dead would walk among us.

The Celts celebrated Samhain by wearing costumes, similar to the Halloween costumes we wear today, and they would light fires and burn crops and animals as sacrifices. The costumes worn by the Celts would normally consist of animal skins and animal heads, and would therefore be rather terrifying to look at. It is from this that our tradition of wearing Halloween costumes came about and continues to the modern day.

 


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