Halloween is a holiday steeped in tradition and superstition. This holiday is said to originate from the ancient Celtic festival Samhain. 2,000 years ago, the Celtics lived in what is now divided between Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France. They celebrated their New Year on November 1, marking the end of summer and the beginning of the cold winter – a time of year they often associated with death. Their belief was that on the night before the New Year the barrier between worlds was weakened and the spirits of the dead were able to return to the world of the living.
During this night, the Celtics would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off the spirits. In fact, if they had to leave their home after dark they would wear a mask to confuse the ghosts into believing they were fellow spirits. They would also leave bowls of food outside their homes in order to appease the ghosts and prevent them from trying to enter the house.
This tradition came to America during an influx of immigrants and altered in practice as locals adapted Samhain, changing it over the years into the Halloween celebration we know today. While there is still a great deal of superstition about ghosts, the world of the dead, black cats and bad omens on Halloween, most of the holiday has become a time to celebrate and enjoy the opportunity to disguise your true self by adopting a new identity for the evening.
However you choose to celebrate this Halloween, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday!