The history of Halloween
The evolution of Halloween is an event that has been 2,000 years in the making. The story of Halloween started with the Celtic Festival of Samhaun, according to the History Channel Web site. They celebrated their new year on Nov. 1. The day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of winter. The Celts believed that on this night, the line between the living and the dead became blurred. They even thought the presence of the outer world helped priests to make predictions about the future. By 43 A.D., the Romans took over the Celts. This merged two Roman festivals with the Celtic one. One of these festivals was to honor the Roman Loders Pomona. Her symbol was the apple. This is said to be the origin of "bobbing for apples," the Web site said.
In the 800's, Christianity had spread to Rome. The Pope at the time declared All Saints day on Nov. 1, taking away the Celtic festival. The Celts then decided to celebrate their holiday on Oct. 31, and began to call it All Hallows Eve. Eventually it became Halloween. After this, the Roman church made Nov. 2 "All Soul's Day." The three were called Hallowmas.
When Europeans came to America they brought traditions with them. Halloween wasn't celebrated widely in America because of Protestant beliefs. In 1846, Halloween started to be celebrated in the United States. Americans took from English and Irish traditions by dressing up and going house to house asking for food and money. This eventually evolved into trick or treating.
By the 1950's, Halloween became secular but still popular in the community. Kids even celebrated at school. Vandalism during Halloween was committed during this time. In the 1950's, Halloween moved to being a house to house activity and the practice of trick or treating was brought back. Today, Halloween is still celebrated the same way.
Americans spend 6.9 billion dollars annually on Halloween, according to the Web site. It is the second largest commercial holiday.
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