By: Shelby Kuzminski
Halloween is the holiday that kicks off the fall season with costumes, bonfires, parties, and trick or treating. However, what many do not know is that Halloween has been celebrated for more than 2,000 years, but of course, not in the ways you might think.
When we think of Halloween, we often think of dressing up and going around to houses to receive candy. That was not always the case, though. According to history.com, Halloween started over 2,000 years ago at the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain is the belief that ghosts would return to Earth. The Celtics believed that on the night before the New Year (which, according to the Celtics, is November 1), the spirits would combine with the living. To celebrate, they would start huge bonfires to sacrifice animals and crops, wear costumes made of animal’s heads or skin, and tell fortunes. They also made feasts, put treats out on their doorsteps, and lit candles along the sides of the road to help guide their deceased loved ones back to the spirit world.
Today, many of us celebrate Halloween a little differently. Some of us go to festivals or costume parties, trick or treat, find our way through corn mazes, and much more. Carving pumpkins and watching scary movies are other good ways to get into the Halloween spirit.
Ghost, witches, and black cats are symbols of All Hallows Eve. In today’s world, these symbols are amplified into pure fear through movies and costumes. It also carries heavy superstition, especially around Halloween time. Nobody wants to run into a black cat because they are a sign of bad luck. Symbols like these date back to the middle ages. According to history.com, many people during the middle ages believed that witches turned themselves into black cats so people could not detect them while they roamed the streets.
Halloween was not only a time for ghost and witches, but a time for matchmaking as well. History.com explains that in Ireland around the 18th century, a matchmaking cook would hide a ring in food for a special young woman to find. The ring is a symbol of hope that she will find her true love soon. Another ritual was that women would toss apple peels over their shoulders and the peels would land in the shape of their future husband’s initials.
The Squire wanted to get to know how some students celebrate Halloween. The Squire caught up with Ally Mineweaser and she shared that her favorite part about Halloween is getting dressed up in costumes and getting free candy. This year, Ally’s costume is an angel from Charlie’s angels. Some of Ally’s Halloween traditions are dressing up, trick or treating, and carving pumpkins. Ally told The Squire her favorite movie to watch around this time is Sinister, because it has the most jump scares to get her heart pumping. Her favorite Halloween candy to get while trick or treating is candy corn because of how sweet it tastes.
Leaves falling, children in costumes trick or treating, pumpkins waiting to be carved, and corn mazes ready to be run through -Halloween is a time for fun. It has been celebrated for over 2,000 years in all different ways. How do you celebrate this spooky holiday? Overall, Halloween is filled with fun activities and spooky nights, but it is for sure a time you never forget.