The Roots of Halloween
Halloween is around and everyone is excited for the costumes, party and candy but little do they know about the origin of Halloween. It’s the time of the year where you will see a lot of Clinton and Trump on the street and maybe a lot of Harley Quinn and Joker, too. Brian Handwerk, in his article Everything You Need to Know About Halloween 2016, has retold the story of Halloween’s origins and how it arrived in America.
According to Handwerk’s article, the number of people decide to wear political in 2016 has raised to 4.1 percent although in 2012, it was nil. Anna Smith, the spokesperson of the National Retail Federation also said: “So I think they are having a little bit of fun with this presidential election and making fun of the candidates a little bit”.
The roots of Halloween is being under discovery by the archaeologists at Celtic spiritual centers like the Hill of Ward in County Meath, Ireland. The old Celtics believe that on Samhain eve, spirits can walk the earth traveling to the afterlife “on a night when doorways between our world and the spirit world were thrown open”. The Celtics also began the tradition that people dress up in Halloween. The purpose of this is for them to hide from the spirits so they “donned animal skin” or “they wore masks and blackened their faces to impersonate ancestors who had preceded them to the spirit world”. Will Fulton, in his article Why Do We Give Out Candy On Halloween? Blame The Irish for the Thrillist also says that: “During festivals like Samhain (also celebrated by the Scots, so they’re to blame, too) folks would dress up like dead people and demand to be appeased with offerings of cake”.The modern tradition of “Treat or Trick” also probably came from them as travelers are believed to have gone from house to house in disguise acting silly in exchange for food and drink.
Samhain night was later transformed by the Christian during the seventh century and Pope Boniface IV decreed November 1 All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows’ Day. Most of the traditions were kept but the day was given a new name “All Hallows’ Eve” which later turned into what we know today as “Halloween”.
The author then explained how Halloween arrived in America. During the 1800s, the explosion of Irish immigration to the United States brought Halloween to the New World. Then quickly, the tradition was adapted by many states starting with Minnesota which became the home of the oldest Halloween celebration. Now Halloween is a fun day where everyone enjoy their time with costumes and parties and kids can go out to get candies.
As the day of the dead, Halloween is the day where many hoaxes, urban legends and horror stories come from. Although some are concerned for the safety of the children since the legalization of marijuana in many states, University of Delaware sociologist Joel Best stated that “he’s been unable to find even one substantiated report of a child dying or being seriously injured from eating trick-or-treat candy”. Concerning this matter, he also says that “There was a fear that people would pass out edible marijuana and cause children to overdose,” he says, “which, among other things, completely ignores how much edible marijuana costs”.
Halloween is also good for business. From Handwerk’s article, “According to the National Retail Federation’s long-running consumer survey of American Halloween habits, 171 million U.S. consumers plan to celebrate Halloween activities in 2016, and they’ll open their wallets in the process”.
From a traditional Irish celebration to what we know today, Halloween surely has gone a long way and through many transformations. Although the original meaning of the day seems to be fading with time, but the core of it is still well maintained, even in a different culture on a different land. May everyone have a great Halloween this year!