How did Halloween Come to Be?

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Audrey Willmore shows her excitement for the upcoming Halloween season.  Photo by Katrina Christensen

Audrey Willmore shows her excitement for the upcoming Halloween season. Photo by Katrina Christensen

In the deep dark of night, a slow moving mist appears, unveiling a passage to the underworld of creatures from unknown realms of the most horrific of imaginable dreams. The dead awaken, witches brew, monsters gather, and ghosts become a reality of suppressed horrors. But what becomes of these dreadful unknown creatures? They creep and crawl to the most unfathomable places in search for the only thing that keeps them bound from dusk til’ dawn. What might this uncontrollable craving be? A craving of masking our identity to fulfill an alternate personality on a night known as All Hallows’ Eve now called “Halloween”, enriched with candy, bonfires, scares, and false belief of something from a dream. These creatures go door-to-door, trick-or-treating for the sweetest offerings given from the unexpecting residents of what lies on the other side of the front door.

Halloween, October 31, is hastily moving to become a worldwide recognized day of make-believe. This day originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) where the Celts lit bonfires and dressed up in costumes warding off demons and ghosts. The Celts lived around 2,000 years ago in present day Ireland. The Celts celebrated their New Years on November 1, also now known as All Saints Day. For the Celts, November 1 marked the end of summer and the beginning of harvest, cold short frigid nights, and long seasoned winters. The Celts believed the night of All Hallows Eve marked the presence of the dead returning to the land, roaming free, causing chaos, trouble, and haunting their forgotten past. This is why the Celts lit bonfires and dressed up, to antagonize the unworthy spirits to slither back to where they came from.  The costumes not only helped the locals get rid of the unwelcomed spirits, but the costumes protected the locals from being recognized by the spirits.

The Halloween tradition now is much friendlier. Families take their children to Halloween stores to buy the newest and latest trend in costumes to parade around in, while going door-to-door trick-or-treating for sweets from the willing, to give a treat or a trick. This is a time for magic, mystery, and gatherings of the most inner alternate character. October marks the beginning of fun-filled fall festivities, instead of fearing the arrival of dark, deep spirits from our mythical past.

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