Did you know that the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain from which our present day Halloween celebration has evolved was actually a new year’s celebration?
November 1stwas the day that marked the end of summer and the harvest and beginning of winter for the area we now know as Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France.
The Celtic people believed that the “veil” between heaven and earth was thin on October 31st, the day before the New Year, allowing ghosts of the dead to return to earth causing “trouble and damaging crops.” They also thought that these ghosts made it easier for their priests or Druids to “see” the future.
“ To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins.
America’s popularization of the celebration of Halloween began in the second half of the nineteenth century. Between 1920 and 1950, door-to-door trick or treating became a way for communities to inexpensively share the holiday. In 2017, Forbes magazine listed the following as the 10 most popular Halloween candies: Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, Snickers, Twix, M&M’s, Nerds, butterfingers, Soul Patch Kids, Skittles and Hershey Bars.
It is estimated that 6 billion is spent annually on Halloween!
However you celebrate Halloween, have fun and be safe.