The History of Halloween

Staff Writer: Maya Walstead 

Halloween is a pretty well known holiday. According to greetingsisland.com from article “Top ten biggest holidays around the world,” Halloween is number 9 as the most celebrated.  

Halloween is celebrated because of the candy, costumes, trick or treating, and haunted houses. One of my friends, Kayden Helton, always says, “This time of year everyone always seems nicer.”  

From article “Top Ten Biggest Holidays Around the World,” many places celebrate Halloween differently. In Mexico, they celebrate Día de Los Muertos, which means the day of the dead. They believe the souls of the dead return to Earth during this time.  

Japan also celebrates Halloween. They throw a parade called the Kawasaki Halloween Parade. “This event is so popular that you have to apply 2 months in advance if you want to join the parade.”  

From website americanenglish.state.gov and their article Halloween, it states, that Halloween came from Europe. And according to tradition the dead came back to harm people and crops. People started wearing costumes to scare away the harmful spirits.  

This is what people used to wear on Halloween. According to the website above, people would wear animal skin and feathers in order to not get dragged away by a wandering spirit. Photo Credit: ip.com

Paige Haring’s favorite holiday is Halloween. She says, “I love wearing the costumes. It’s so much fun pretending to be a different person for one night.” 

But now Halloween has turned into a much more commercial holiday. There are Halloween scents and flavors whenever September rolls around. I took a poll on Instagram, and it said that 48 percent of people’s favorite flavor for Halloween is apple cider. 

Now there are so many options for what to dress up as for Halloween. I think we can safely say that people have moved on from the scaring harmful spirits and are now more focused on looking good and making plans.  

Some plans that people have for Halloween include going to haunted houses, going to pumpkin patches, and going to Halloween parties. People also listen to Halloween music and watch Halloween movies.  

The reason that people started trick or treating is still murky. But on history.com from article How Trick or Treating Became a Halloween Tradition it says, “Poorer people would visit houses of wealthier families and receive pastries called soul cakes in exchange for them praying for their dead relatives.” Except now it’s turned into rotting your teeth because you ate so much candy.  

Now I think people view Halloween as more of a celebration, and not as much a day to protect or honor the dead.  

Carving pumpkins is also a classic Halloween tradition. Website english-heritage.org says that the tradition of carving from England, but it started there as carving turnips. And Britannica.com says that in Britain they carved pumpkins to keep away wandering souls.  

This is a carved turnip, like the ones they made in England.  Photo Credit: themrhunterwall.blogspot.com 

Another Halloween favorite is candy corn. Some people don’t like it, but I personally love it. According to msn.com, candy corn was originally called chicken feed. Candy corn’s flavor is actually based off of honey and vanilla.  

So Halloween has a lot of tradition around it, but it’s a fun holiday and I have a feeling we are gonna be celebrating it for a long time to come. 

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