Halloween is among the most celebrated holidays not just in the United States but other parts of the world. Each year, kids—and adults, await the arrival of the Halloween. Who wouldn’t love Halloween? Parties, trick-or-treats, plus it’s the one time of the year when you can dress up however you like.
For some,the fondest childhood memories they have experienced happened on Halloween. But of course, Halloween isn’t just for kids. Remember, everyone can have fun on a Halloween night. So how do you enjoy the ultimate Halloween experience?
On the night of October 31st, the Celts celebrated Samhain because they believed that the ghosts of the dead return to earth on this night. In addition, they also believe that the powers of Celtic priests to predict the future are heightened on this night, because of the presence of spirits. And for the Celts, these predictions were given great importance.
In the evening, the people gathered around a bonfire built by Celtic priests. These bonfires were considered sacred and were used to burn crop and animal sacrifices to please the deities. During the festival, the people donned costumes made from animal heads and skins. As they gathered around the bonfire, they tried to tell each others' fortunes. After the celebration, the people re-lit the fire on their hearth from the sacred bonfire. They believed that this practice gave them protection during the cold and dark winter.
European immigrants were the ones responsible for bringing the Halloween customs to America. But because of strict Protestant laws governing most of New England, celebration of Halloween was very limited in that area. Halloween however, was commonly celebrated in places like Maryland and in many southern colonies.
In 1846, during the potato famine in Ireland, millions of Irish immigrants began to flock to America. This marked the beginning of Halloween celebrations everywhere in the country. And with the influence of both European and Irish traditions, an American version of Halloween was formed.
At the turn of the 19th century, Halloween slowly began to lose its spiritual implication and slowly started to become a children’s holiday.
Nowadays, Halloween is celebrated as a community. To date, Halloween is rated as the second most commercial holiday in the United States.
Halloween may have lost most, if not all, its religious connotation. Superstitious beliefs may have been lost in time but people will always look forward to Halloween. Trick-or-treating, scary Halloween costumes and Halloween parties are already significant parts of the American traditions.