Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Halloween Today Differs Greatly from Past

black cat 300U.S. (10/30/13) – Spanning the line between fall and winter, life and death, Halloween is a time for celebration and superstitions. Halloween is believed to have originated from a Celtic Festival called Samhain, where people would dress up in costumes and build bonfires to ward off roaming ghosts.

The Celts celebrated their new year on Nov. 1, which marked the end of their summer and the beginning of the dark, cold winter and a time associated with death. The Celts also believe that the night before the new year, the edge between the living and the dead became distorted. They believed that on the night of Oct. 31, the ghosts had risen from the dead to roam the earth. The Celts celebrated Samhain. During the celebration, they wore costumes that mainly consisted of animal heads and skins and would attempt to read their fortunes.

The Celts were worried the Druids would take the presence of spirits and “predict” the future. For those who were dependent on the unstable natural world, the prophecies that were made were an important source of comfort and direction during the cold long winter. To commemorate the celebration, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where people would gather to sacrifice animals and burned crops to the Celtic deities.

When Halloween came to America, the celebration was very limited in colonial New England because of the Protestant belief system. Halloween was more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As beliefs and customs of different European ethnicities as well as the Native Americans merged, a new American version of Halloween began to transpire.
 
Some of the very first celebrations included “play parties,” which consisted of public events that celebrated the harvest, where people would share their stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, and sing and dance. Other festivities also included telling ghost stories and mischief-making. Even though by the middle of the 19th century, annual autumn festivities were common, Halloween was not celebrated throughout the country just yet.

By the mid-19th century, America became flooded with immigrants, especially the Irish fleeing from the Ireland potato famine, which helped to popularize the Halloween celebrations nationally. Taking from both Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up and go house to house asking for money and food, which would later be known as today’s “trick or treat” tradition.

As the late 19th century rolled in, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more for the community and neighborly get-togethers than about pranks, ghosts and witchcraft.

Over time, Halloween has evolved into a community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities.

Amber Averitt
SurfKY News

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Kentucky State Parks Foundation Awards Grants for Trail Improvements

FRANKFORT, Ky. (4/20/14) — The Kentucky State Parks Foundation has awarded matching grants to two Kentucky State Parks… Read More

Free Sports Physical Dates Set for Murray, Calloway, Eastwood Students

MURRAY, Ky. (4/19/14) – Murray-Calloway County Hospital will host its annual free sports physicals to local middle and… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 16, 2014 19915

UPDATE- Sheriff's Office Following Leads…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 17, 2014 4520

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 16, 2014 3544

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 17, 2014 3402

Meet The Hopkins County Magistrate…

in News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 16, 2014 2101

Rand Paul - 'We Need a New President'

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 17, 2014 4520

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 18, 2014 1253

Talking Teen Trashed Telephone Pole,…

in Top Stories by MPD
April 18, 2014 1000

Earlington Traffic Stop Results in Meth…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 19, 2014 992

Fifth Third on Main Street Comes Down

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 17, 2014 798

Center Street-Island Ford Connector in…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 16, 2014 1378

New Home Health Care Opens in Owensboro

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 18, 2014 1362

Daviess County School Board Hears…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 18, 2014 1337

One Arrested, Another Injured in Single…

in News by J.D. Marksberry
April 16, 2014 1153

DCPS to Celebrate National Volunteer Week

in News by Lora Wimsatt
April 17, 2014 347

Owensboro Public Works Declares 'War on…

in Top Stories by Abby Shelton

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 16, 2014 3544

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 17, 2014 1775

Bremen Man Charged for Possession of…

in Top Stories by Muhlenberg Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 16, 2014 1751

South Carrollton Woman Injured in Head-on…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 17, 2014 1600

Watson Family Tragedy Inspires Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 16, 2014 1565

Three Injured in Kentucky 70 Collision

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03