Halloween’s haunting history

The history behind the holiday

Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures via Creative Commons

Halloween, a day filled with candy and costumes, but what is the true meaning behind this holiday? Around 2,000 years ago, this eerie holiday was believed to be the day the dead were permitted to pass into earth through a portal. People were said to dress up as the supernatural in order to blend in with these portal passing ghosts. However, this still does not answer the question of what Halloween is and why it is celebrated.

Halloween has many different meanings for many different places. The exact definition of Halloween, according to Google, is The night of October 31, the eve of All Saints’ Day, commonly celebrated by children who dress in costume and solicit candy or other treats door-to-door.”

The definition of Halloween to a current freshman at Battlefield High school, Gabrielle Corwin, is that “Halloween is a fun night where you can dress up, relax, and hang out with friends.” Compared to Corwin’s definition of halloween, the official definition refers more to a cultural type of holiday. As to now, halloween is a social gathering for friends and families.

To many, it is about the costume parties or the trick or treating, but to the Celtics, a group of people from the British and Irish islands, this holiday was a way to celebrate their loved ones who have passed on. In honor of these family members or friends, and a way to keep spirits from entering homes, people placed food out on their porches or the street. Today, we hand out candy or leave bowls sitting on our steps for people to take. Similarities from the beginning of Halloween to now are outstandingly strange. People may have forgotten why Halloween began, but the traditions have lived on for many years.

According the History.com’s article History of Halloween, On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits.” This holiday was also the night before All Saints Day. All Saints Day was November 1, people gathered in churches and priests called out each name and lit a candle in honor of their souls. These two holidays are so close together that another name for All Saints Day is “Hallow’s Eve,” linking with All Souls Day on November 2.

From Halloween 2,000 years ago to Halloween now in 2017, only a few things have been the same. People have dressed up for Halloween since the holiday came about, only then was halloween about blending in with portal strangers. Going from passing out food on the street to keep the ghosts from entering homes to passing out candy as children enjoy their sweet filled night. Halloween has kept one main thing in common over the many years it has been celebrated, bringing friends and family together to celebrate a spooky night for the dead.