History of Halloween
It is “widely believed” that Halloween originated from the ancient Celtic harvest festival, Samhain, and that this Gaelic observance was Christianized by the early Church. Samhain festivals are said to have also had pagan roots. Some argue, however, that Halloween began independently of Samhain and has solely Christian origins. Many European cultural traditions hold that Halloween is a time when magic is most powerful and spirits can make contact with the physical world.
In Christian times, it became a celebration of the evening before All Saints’ Day. It is believed that the celebration of Halloween only made its way to the United States (from being widely celebrated in Northern Europe) in the 19th Century by immigrants from Scotland and Ireland.
The commercialization of Halloween (as we know it today) began in the 1900s, when postcards and die-cut paper decorations were produced. Halloween costumes started to appear in stores in the 1930s and the custom of ‘trick-or-treat’ appeared in the 1950s. Halloween 2017 now become a very profitable holiday for the manufacturers of holiday celebration items.
Traditions of Halloween
Halloween 2017 has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of Halloween 2017 include the attending of church services and the lighting of candles on the graves of the dead. Some Christians historically abstain from meat (a tradition reflected in the eating of certain foods on this vigil day. Additionally it has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well. Modern traditions of the holiday include attending Halloween costume parties, lighting bonfires, trick-or-treating, decorating and carving pumpkins, apple bobbing and divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films.