Kailynn Miller, Editor-in-Chief

It’s almost that time of the year again, the leaves are turning orange and the air is getting colder, Halloween is upon us. Do you know how Halloween came to be? Halloween wasn’t known as Halloween at first, it used to just be a tradition performed by the Celtic, called Samhain. The Samhain tradition included the Celtic people gathering together in a festival and lighting bonfires as well as dressing up in costumes; they believed that this would ward off ghosts. The Celtic people believed that on October 31, the transition of warm weather into cold, would bring upon ghosts because cold weather was associated with death. It wasn’t until the eighth century that Halloween became more than a tradition. Pope Gregory III, chose to turn this Celtic tradition of Samhain into something bigger, he wanted to honor all saints. Pope Gregory declared November 1st as the day to honor the saints, this day was known as All Saints Day. The day before All Saints Day was declared All Hallows Eve. All Hallows Eve derives from the term Alholowmesse, which means All Saints Day in Middle English. All Hallows Eve eventually became simply, Halloween. 

Halloween Traditions

Bobbing for apples is believed to have come about when Romans participated in a courting ritual by honoring Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees, the symbol of Pomona is an apple. 

Carving Pumpkins originated in Ireland. The Irish, instead of carving pumpkins, they carved turnips. They believed that by carving scary faces and lighting them would ward off evil spirits.

Wearing costumes, as mentioned, was performed by celtics thousands of years ago, they dressed up in scary costumes to dress up like ghosts and thus be left alone by them.  

There are many different Trick-or-treating traditions, one theory as to how they came about is the Celtics would leave out food to keep spirits at bay and keep them from being angered. Another theory is that Trick-or-Treating arose from belsnickling. Belsnickling was a tradition performed by children who would dress up and disguise themselves, then go to their neighbors houses and ask their neighbor if they could identify them. If the neighbor was unable to identify the child then they were given candy. 

Black cats, in medieval times black cats were seen as a symbol of the devil. Later black cats were seen as witches’ companions or their familiar. Black cats have seemed to always have a bad rep, now they are seen as bad luck. 

The color black and orange used on Halloween also came from the Celtics and their Samhain tradition. The Celtic believed that the color black represented death, more specifically the death of summer, and the color orange symbolized the entering of Autumn.

What are some Halloween traditions that you participate in?