Halloween Originated from the Celtic Festival of Samhain

Alexandria Ibarra, Reporter

Halloween is my favorite holiday. People celebrate with traditions like carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating and dressing up.

But I feel like too many people have forgotten where Halloween came from. The historical roots have faded over time and now Halloween is all about fun and candy.

According to History.com, Halloween originated from the ancient Celtic fire festival of Samhain, celebrated from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1 throughout Europe.

“As Christianity gained a foothold in pagan communities, church leaders attempted to reframe Samhain as a Christian celebration,” according to History.com

History.com said during Samhain the Celts gathered around bonfires in terrifying animasl skin costumes and made animal sacrifices to the Celtic deities in hopes that they could avoid being terrorized by spirits that were roaming the earth that night.

“If you encountered a real demon roaming the Earth, they would think you were one of them,” according to the Smithsonian.

Today, people still dress up in costumes, but the meaning has changed: it has become a day to dress up as your favorite movie character or idol.

“My favorite part about Halloween would be seeing the costumes because everybody’s costumes are so different and creative,” sophomore Jazren Mojica said.

History.com said the Celts used to carve faces into turnips and set them outside their homes to scare evil spirits away. Today, we carve funny, scary, or cute faces into pumpkins as a way to spend time with family and to use as decorations. These are two similar traditions, done for very different reasons: safety versus fun.

There is no exact story of how trick-or-treating came about but there are theories. According to Mentalfloss.com, during Samhain people would leave out food to appease ghosts and spirits.

Another similar tradition was that German-American children would dress up and go to their neighbors to see if anyone could guess what character or person they were dressed as, according to Mentalfloss.com. If no one could guess right, then the child was rewarded with treats.

Hollywood has greatly impacted the holiday with Halloween movies from “The Addams Family” to “Halloweentown,” and even “Hotel Transylvania.” These three movies from three different time periods have two things in common: they are all about monsters and family.

Of course, people want to laugh and have a good time watching Halloween movies, but none of these movies have any historical Halloween elements in them.

“It’s more of a fun type of holiday for me — Halloween is more of like expressing yourself and having fun,” Mojica said.

During Halloween season my family loves to do things like watch 31 Nights of Halloween on Freeform, and though they run “Hocus Pocus” a million times, it’s tradition. My siblings and I love to carve pumpkins too, to show off our creativeness to trick-or-treaters. For us, its family bonding time.

I think movies and the media should show the roots of what Halloween was. Halloween is a part of people’s history but it has been recreated and changed over time. We need to be true to what it is and what it means to our collective history.