Informative EssayHistory Of Halloween

Essay by hwest82College, UndergraduateA, January 2013

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History of Halloween

Close to $7 billion dollars is what consumers spent on Halloween costumes, candy, and decorations in 2011. When the temperature starts to drop, the leaves turn different colors and the sun sets earlier little by little each day, fall is the perfect season to celebrate Halloween. Millions of children dress up and go to strangers doors begging for candy. Have you ever wondered where this strange and unique tradition originated from? -- The three most important points of Halloween can be summed up by looking at its origins, how it came to include jack-o-lanterns and bobbing for apples, and how it is celebrated today with trick-or-treating and haunted houses.

Halloween, also known as All Hallows' Eve, has originated from the ancient Celtic festival known as Samahin ("sow-in") derived from the Old Irish Samuin meaning "summer's end". The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated the end of the harvest season with the festival of Samhain and celebrated the upcoming new Year on November 1.

Used by the ancient pagans, Samhain was a time to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. October 31 was the day the ancient Gaels believed the boundaries overlapped between the worlds of the living and the dead, and the departed souls would come back to life and cause mayhem such as damaged crops and sickness. The Gaels built massive bonfires and summoned the help from gods through animal and possibly human sacrifices to ward of the spirits. It is believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which in turn attracted bats. These are additional features of the history of Halloween. Halloween is also thought to be influenced by the Christian holy days of All Saints' Day,