Halloween actually started over 2,000 years ago when the people known as the ‘Celts’ who lived in what is now Ireland, the UK, and parts of Northern France, celebrated November 1 as their New Year’s Day. They believed that the night before, October 31, was a time when the living and the dead came together.
Approximately 1000 years later, it was the Christian church who recognized November 1 as All Saints Day – also called All Hallows. This was a special holy day that honoured the saints and others who died for their religion. The night before All Hallows was called Hallows Eve, which later became known as ….Halloween!
At the time it was believed that on Halloween, the spirits of the dead would visit the earth. People worried that evil spirits would cause ciaos or hurt them – so on the night everyone wore costumes that looked like ghosts or other evil creatures so they would mix right in and the spirits would think they were also dead and therefore not harm them.
The tradition of Halloween was carried to America by the immigrating Europeans. It lost its religious connections, and now the ‘evil spirits’ are out and about knocking on doors shouting ‘Trick or Treat’! As we Americans LOVE to dress in costumes, today Halloween is celebrated more in the United States than anywhere in the world.
Oh, and one more Halloween fun fact…. years ago over this holiday period, Europeans would carry lanterns made from turnips. But in America, pumpkins were more commonly found than turnips so people began to use these instead to make their lanterns and called them Jack ‘o lanterns! But, does anyone know what Jack had to do with a pumpkin?…….