Halloween then and now


Photo Courtesy: Wall Alpha Coders

Sakina Ghatalah, Contributing Writer

The quirky holiday of Halloween has been entertaining for many people all over the country. The ghouls, witches, and beasts that enter our lives every year in the month of October give everyone quite a trick or treat.

Although new traditions have been added, Halloween originally started as festival called Samhain over 2000 years and was celebrated on November 1st. The founders of this festival were a group from Ireland called the Celtics who celebrated Samhain as a farewell to the summer and as a dreaded welcome to the winter. For the Celts, the New Year was the eve of the first of November, and the living and the dead walked side by side. To celebrate, they had a sacred bonfire to burn crops and animals while they dressed in bizarre costumes, parading around the fire that would keep them safe from the dead of winter. The Celts also burned crops and animals as their sacrifice to the Celtic deity. They would wear costumes in the hopes of having the priests read into the future as a source of safety and reassurance.

While they continued to follow their traditions, another empire was gradually building. The Roman Empire went on a conquering spree and happened to take over the Celtics. The Romans added and tweaked tweaked the rituals that were already created. In that time that they ruled, they had two festivals. The first was a commemoration of the passed away and the second was to observe the Roman Goddess of fruit and trees, Pomona. Her symbol is the apple which brings many to believe that this was the origin of the apple bobbing game that is played on the day of Halloween.

Over time Christianity had spread far and wide and was practiced by the Celtics as well. The All Martyrs Day the Pope had created had been moved to November 1st and started to incorporate saints as well. The second of November was made to be All Souls Day and celebrated with same as the festival of Samhain. The bonfires and costumes were included as well. All Saints Day could be recognized as All-Hallowmas which led to All Hallows’ Eve and eventually became known prominently as Halloween.

Without knowing much about the holiday, many Fremd students still use All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween, as a way of following more modern traditions associated with the day such as obtaining free candy, dressing up, watching horror movies, or scaring people. According to freshman Olivia Godek, Halloween has been a holiday that she has looked forward to since the start of October because of the contributions it made towards her childhood.

“I like how everything used to revolve around [Halloween] when we were younger and the excitement I used to feel over my costumes and the candy was awesome,” Godek said. ” It created an aroma that I love, though the pumpkin spice lattes are a plus too. It was something I looked forward to and genuinely enjoyed.”

Similar to Godek, junior Octavian Spears elaborates that Halloween is a part of our culture.The tradition and rituals associated with Halloween, he believes, should be continued because trick or treating was really a joyous experience for him.

“I think that it’s one of our social norms. It’s like a good type of peer pressure and a traditional thing for us because they make it so big in America,” Spears said. “It’s looked forward to as much as Christmas to the kids. It’s a fun part of a kid’s life because who doesn’t like free candy?”