Trick or treat?
Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated each year on October 31.
It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on 1st of November.
This day is marking the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
The word Halloween or Hallowe'en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin
Halloween in America
The celebration of Halloween was extremely limited in colonial New England because of the rigid Protestant belief systems there. Halloween was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, the new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing the Irish Potato Famine, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally.
Borrowing from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition.
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