With Halloween right around the corner I thought I’d take a little look at how this unique and incredibly fun (depending on who you’re asking) holiday full of costumes, candy, and more horror stories then anyone can count.
Halloween is thought to have Celtic influences and pagan roots relating back to festivals celebrating summer’s end – called “Samhain”. A time for stocking up for winter, cattle were slaughtered and bonfires were lit, many having rituals involved – even possibly including human sacrifice. Sahmain was viewed as a time when a connection to the “otherworld” was created and feasts were had in which the souls of the dead were invited. Some believe that the wearing of costumes may have originated during this time to protect and/or disguise one’s self from the harmful spirits and fairies that were present during this time. Halloween is also thought to have been influenced by the Christian holy days of All Saints Days (held Nov. 1) and All Souls’ Day (held Nov. 2). These days were used as a time to honor the holy saints and pray for the recently departed souls.
By the time it spread to North America Halloween had shed all of the medieval connotations the holiday had and it was celebrated in individual communities before reaching widespread acceptance in the 20th century. Trick-or-Treating and costumes (also known as guising) has only been in place for roughly a century. The original term literally meant trick or treat and children would walk around their towns asking residents to either give them a treat or risk having a prank played on their house.
Of course, Halloween has taken on a life of its own present day. The added thrill of horror has led to an entire industry based around scaring the daylights out of people. Slasher films, haunted houses, real life ghost encounters are just a few of the things out there to entertain (or terrify) individuals willing to experience them. Above all else, Halloween is a day to pretend for both children and adults alike.
Here’s a warm HAPPY HALLOWEEN from everyone at Tapastic! Have fun, and stay safe!