People are just finding out why we celebrate Halloween – and it's a lot creepier than you think | The Sun

People are just finding out why we celebrate Halloween – and it's a lot creepier than you think | The Sun

October 30, 2022

THIS is the creepy reason we celebrate Halloween – and it's not to express our love for candy.

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, Halloween has been around for more than a thousand years.

It apparently began as a religious festival but has morphed over the centuries into a fun holiday for dressing up and eating candy, hence its popularity with kids.

However, the origins of the traditions can be traced back to an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain.

This pagan celebration was held on what would be November 1 in modern calendars and had a similarly spooky tone.

It was believed that on Samhain, the souls of the dead returned to their homes.

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Those observing the festival dressed up in costumes and lit bonfires to ward off spirits.

This led to the association with common Halloween tropes like ghosts, goblins, and witches.

In the 7th Century, Pope Boniface IV created All Saints Day, which was celebrated on May 13.

However, in the 8th Century, Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day to November 1.

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This was likely done to provide a Christian alternative to Samhain.

The day before the newly moved festival became known as All Hallows Eve or Halloween.

Though the tradition began in the Celtic regions of the UK, Ireland, and France, it spread quickly around the world.

The first colonists in New England were forbidden from celebrating it by their religion, but it did achieve some popularity in the Southern colonies.

By the 19th Century, Halloween traditions were imported by Irish immigrants fleeing the Potato Famine, while autumnal harvest festival elements were also incorporated.

The practice of trick or treating became popular in the US in the early 1900s as a continuation of the Celtic tradition of "guising".

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This was a practice in which a person would dress in costume and tell a joke, recite a poem, or perform some other trick in exchange for a piece of fruit or other treat.

Trick or treating became one of the most popular Halloween activities by the 1950s and today Halloween is one of the biggest commercial holidays, with candy sales totaling around $3 billion.

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