Triton Voice

Are you familiar with Halloween?

A journey into Halloweens past.

Created+in+Ireland+Jack+o%27lanterns+frightened+away+Stingy+Jack+and+other+wandering+evil+spirits.+
Created in Ireland Jack o'lanterns frightened away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits.

Created in Ireland Jack o'lanterns frightened away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits.

Robert Maggiacomo

Robert Maggiacomo

Created in Ireland Jack o'lanterns frightened away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits.

Robert Maggiacomo, Staff Writer

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Why do we celebrate Halloween and where does it come from? When asked this question Junior Kiefer Callewaert responded,

“I think maybe it comes from the Native Americans. They were pretty spiritual.” And when the same question was posed to Dylan Bistany he also wasn’t sure.

“I don’t know maybe from Salem” he said. It’s such a well known holiday that many are used to celebrating, but it seems most don’t know why.

 

Few holidays celebrated in America see this much confusion with why the holiday is celebrated and its origins. When one thinks of Christmas or Thanksgiving many Americans are taught by either teachers or families. To understand Halloween and its roots it becomes necessary to travel 2,000 years into the past to the Celts and a Celtic festival that was celebrated around November first, known as Samhain, which is Gaelic for summers end.

 

According to Livescience.com the holiday sees the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter and the remembrance of the dead. How did this holiday turn into Halloween? Samhain seemed to influence a celebration known as Hallomas in Ireland, and in Britain it was also November first. This holiday is also known as All Saints Day celebrated in honor of all saints. During in the holiday, it was common to see the poor knocking on doors asking for food in trade for prayers for the dead. And according to History.com there were big parades and bonfires in the streets that saw people dressing up as saints, devils, and angels.

 

These Halloween beliefs and celebrations ended up on America by way of the many Irish immigrants arriving in America to escape the potato famine in the first half of the Nineteenth Century. When asked about what Halloween was like in Ireland Anne Dennehy, a 79- year-old Irish immigrant who living in Brighton she said,

“Halloween has always been a very big deal back when I was young we would get the day off from school.”

 

In America the trick part of the trick or treat moniker has of late seemed to vanish from modern day Halloween celebrations. Moreover this is the result of early American Halloween tricks and customs becoming dangerous. In pre-1940’s Halloweens, the trick part of Halloween was taken quite seriously. Some popular Halloween tricks included opening farmer’s gates, egging houses, and tipping over outhouses. But by the time the 1920’s had arrived, the vandalism was getting more serious and Halloween was looking less trick or treating and more tricking, leading Halloween celebrations to resemble a unruly party in the streets. In response to this, parents and community heads began encouraging dressing up and trick or treating for candy instead of the wild tricking that was running rampant. With those changes Halloween began to resemble its modern counterpart more and more with each celebration.

 

After investigating Halloween’s origins it is pretty clear why many are not familiar with the why and the how when it comes to Halloween. But Halloween is not slowing down anytime soon and according to theamericangenius.com Halloween seems to be growing in popularity and profit for retailers across the nation making it one of the most successful holidays in the States.

About the Contributor
Robert Maggiacomo, Staff Writer

My name is Robert Maggiacomo. I am a 16-year old junior at Triton High School. I'm from Byfield, Massachusetts. When I'm in journalism I enjoy covering...

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Are you familiar with Halloween?