Halloween History

Makayla Bell

With Halloween coming up on October 31 here is some history you may not have known. It started with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain and their traditional bonfires and costumes. The people of Samhain believed if they lit a bonfire and danced around in costumes it would ward off ghosts for their town. However, as the Roman empire took over the Celtic land they also spread the influence of Christianity. The night before the Celtic’s traditional Samhain they came up with a new name, All-Hallows Eve, which eventually became Halloween. With the Americans very limited to the spread of religions because of the Protestant belief system it had moved over to the south. Starting in the 19th century they got new immigrants familiar with the new Halloween. At the same time, the Irish fled from the Irish Potato Famine and spread into America. With all the new immigrants it popularized the celebration of Halloween.  

Americans began dressing up and going from house to house trick or treating for candy. With the new American tradition growing to Halloween parties, pranks, and unique Halloween movies growing, it was estimated that $6 billion is spent annually on Halloween. Today’s Halloween estimate has gone up to $10.6 billion for costumes, candy, and decorations.