Halloween is a beloved holiday, loved by children and adults. Though not many people know where Halloween came from.
Halloween is from the festival of Samhain that stems from Ancient Celtic traditions in Northern France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. All Hallows Eve was a festival in which they would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off bad spirits. The Ancient Celts believed that on All Hallows Eve the barrier between the spirit world and our world disappeared for the night. The festival signified the end of summer and the beginning of the harvest season. It also signified the darkness of winter and how they believed the winter season brought death. There was also the belief that with the veil between the worlds being blurred for the night that it made it easier for some to see the future.
We don’t know where the tradition of handing out candy to children came from. Though there are three different speculations on where that tradition came from. First is the German American Christmas tradition “Belsnickeling.” Kids would dress up and go around their neighborhoods having the adults guess who each kid was in their costume. It’s said the kids were rewarded with food or treats if their costume tricked the adults and the adults could not guess who they were. Another theory is that giving out candy came from a Scottish practice where children and adults took up a collection of money and food for prayers for the dead. Eventually the prayers were dropped in favor of non-religious practices like songs, jokes, and tricks. Lastly there is the idea that originally with the Samhain the Celts would leave out food for the spirits to make them happy.
The traditions of Halloween goes back centuries and has changed into the fun Holiday we know and love.