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Halloween History


Halloween is a wonderful celebration of parties, costumes and candy that comes once each year. But how did this strange custom originate?

The beginning:

Originally Halloween was a festival of the end of summer, which has survived to the present day in popular culture as "Halloween." It is observed the night of October 31. The ancient Celtics called the festival "Samhain" and observed it to celebrate the onset of winter and the beginning of the Celtic New Year. "Samhain" means "end of summer." In Ireland the festival was known as "Samhain", the feast of the Sun.

In Scotland, the celebration was known as "Halloween." Samhain marked the third and final harvest, and the storage of food for the winter. It had nothing to do with anything evil, that is a modern day myth perpetuated in films.

Samhain was a solar festival marked by sacred fire and fire rituals during the height of the Druids, the priestly caste of the Celtics. All fires except those of the Druids were extinguished on Samhain. All fires were than relit from the town's fire. The Druid fire was kept burning in the Middle of Ireland, at Usinach. So on the night of October 31, villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes. In Ireland and Scotland, the custom of extinguishing one's home fire and relighting if from the festival bonfire has continued into modern times. They would then dress up in all manner of fancy costumes and parade around the neighborhood.

In some parts of modern Scotland, people still celebrate by building bonfires on hilltops and high ground. The fire is known as Halloween bleeze, and custom once included digging a circular trench around the fire to symbolize the sun.

The custom of trick or treating has several origins.

1. An old Irish practice called for going door to door to collect money, bread cake, cheese, eggs, apples, and such in preparation for the festival.

2. Another was the asking for soul cakes, or offerings in exchange for promises of prosperity or protection against bad luck.

So, although some people may think that Halloween was once a practice of evil people, Halloween itself did not grow out of evil practices. It grew out of the rituals of Celtics celebrating a new year, and out of Medieval prayer rituals of Europeans. You have nothing to fear and you should just enjoy the good clean fun of Halloween.

Throughout the years:

° 1840's Irish immigrants fleeing their country's potato famine brought the custom of Halloween to America.

° 1900's In the early part of the century only the Celt's celebrated Halloween. It took a long time for others to pick up on the custom.

° 1920's Halloween parties were all the rage. Towns would have dances, social club gatherings, and a variety of decorations followed suit. Parties had themes such as an "Animals" or "Famous People" with an art deco flare to the costumes and decorations.

° 1930's Halloween was being celebrated more by adults than by their children. Costumes were outlandish, and the parties would last all night. Many had lavish parties that would cost a small fortune.

° 1940's The war years. Most of the parties were being given for the children. Most of the adult males were away.

° 1950's The parties were almost exclusively for children. The children didn't seem to mind though.

° 1960's The parties were again starting to join in on all the Halloween fun. The children were out trick-or-treating like never before. For the first time children were dressing as TV characters.

° 1970's the people who enjoyed Halloween began decorating the outside of their homes as well as the inside, decorations were becoming available in stores. People seemed to have realized that this was a fun holiday and nothing about it was evil.

° 1980s was the rebirth of the adult Halloween party. Adults found that they could enjoy the same games and fun as the children. Almost every store was now selling Halloween decorations.

° 1990's Showed an increase of the popularity of Halloween. Many people started decorating their homes with the vast amount of Halloween decorations that were being made available. Many yards had more decorations for Halloween than any other holiday.

° 2010's OK this is your time. So why not throw a 2010 Halloween party? So go ahead and have some fun, you rock! Preserve Halloween's history and all the fun. It's fun and easy to throw a Halloween party. I have all the costumes, games, decorations, invitations music and more right here on this web site.

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