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The History of Halloween

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The History of Halloween

By Rana Banankhah, Reporter

Halloween is a night of tricks, treats and tradition. The history of Halloween dates back to ancient times with the Celtic festival of Samhain. For the Celts, November first marked the beginning of a new year and new years eve was believed to be the night where the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead were at it’s thinnest. They believed that the devil was why their crops began to die during that period of time. On the night of October 31, to scare off evil, unwanted spirits, they burned large bonfires, made sacrifices to their deities, and dressed in costumes of animal pelts. This later, this evolved into the Halloween we know today when Irish immigrants fled to America during the Potato Famine, bringing their culture and traditions with them. Young children soon began to play tricks on their neighbors, like taking their front gate, or scaring them, on Halloween. Soon, the neighbors began giving these kids treats, as a bribe for them to stop playing tricks. This tradition of ‘trick or treating’ soon spread across the entire nation and became a yearly custom.

 

When asked about what she thought the origins of Halloween were, sophomore Sarah Rinne said, “They wanted to scare off the devil because there was a famine, which they believed the devil caused, so they dressed up to scare them away.” Freshman Brook Bargas commented, “I think it’s really interesting that they dressed up in scary costumes to ward off devils.” Although not many high schoolers participate in Halloween traditions anymore, the night still preserves its cultural and traditional importance.

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Rana Banankhah, Reporter

Rana Banankhah is currently a freshman in the International Baccalaureate program at Modesto High School. In eighth grade, she actively participated in...

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The History of Halloween