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

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 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 on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14

Most Read This Week

May 30, 2015 7287

Study of Virus Attack on Cancer Sees Success

by Julie Heflin
May 28, 2015 6600

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 2830

Greenville Man Charged with Rockport Robbery,…

by SurfKY News
May 29, 2015 2482

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

by SurfKY News
May 29, 2015 2454

KSP Seeks Public Help in Locating Wanted Man

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 11360

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 9545

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

June 02, 2015 1732

Woman Charged with Falsely Reporting Kidnapping

by SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1606

Traffic Signal at Intersection in Downtown…

by Keith Todd
June 02, 2015 1595

Two Muhlenberg Women Injured in Collision

by SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1449

Juveniles Accused of Falsely Reporting Masked…

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
June 01, 2015 1221

Human Relations Coordinator Identifies Possible…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1203

Hopkins County Misdemeanor Indictments

by SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1150

South Main Accident Slows Northbound Traffic

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1044

Pennyrile Soap Box Derby Hosts 34 Competitors

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 950

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
June 01, 2015 564

Community Breaks Ground for First United Bank…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News