Thursday, January 29, 2015

black cat 300U.S. (10/30/13) – Spanning the line between fall and winter, life and death, Halloween is a time for celebration and superstitions. Halloween is believed to have originated from a Celtic Festival called Samhain, where people would dress up in costumes and build bonfires to ward off roaming ghosts.

The Celts celebrated their new year on Nov. 1, which marked the end of their summer and the beginning of the dark, cold winter and a time associated with death. The Celts also believe that the night before the new year, the edge between the living and the dead became distorted. They believed that on the night of Oct. 31, the ghosts had risen from the dead to roam the earth. The Celts celebrated Samhain. During the celebration, they wore costumes that mainly consisted of animal heads and skins and would attempt to read their fortunes.

The Celts were worried the Druids would take the presence of spirits and “predict” the future. For those who were dependent on the unstable natural world, the prophecies that were made were an important source of comfort and direction during the cold long winter. To commemorate the celebration, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where people would gather to sacrifice animals and burned crops to the Celtic deities.

When Halloween came to America, the celebration was very limited in colonial New England because of the Protestant belief system. Halloween was more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As beliefs and customs of different European ethnicities as well as the Native Americans merged, a new American version of Halloween began to transpire.
 
Some of the very first celebrations included “play parties,” which consisted of public events that celebrated the harvest, where people would share their stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, and sing and dance. Other festivities also included telling ghost stories and mischief-making. Even though by the middle of the 19th century, annual autumn festivities were common, Halloween was not celebrated throughout the country just yet.

By the mid-19th century, America became flooded with immigrants, especially the Irish fleeing from the Ireland potato famine, which helped to popularize the Halloween celebrations nationally. Taking from both Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up and go house to house asking for money and food, which would later be known as today’s “trick or treat” tradition.

As the late 19th century rolled in, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more for the community and neighborly get-togethers than about pranks, ghosts and witchcraft.

Over time, Halloween has evolved into a community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities.

Amber Averitt
SurfKY News

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Lady Aces Handle Harlan, Advance in All 'A' Classic

FRANKFORT, Ky. (1/28/15) — Owensboro Catholic passed its opening round test in the Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic,… Read More

Lady Trojans Topple McCracken County

PADUCAH, Ky. (1/28/15) — The Webster County Lady Trojans claimed their fourth straight win convincingly, defeating host… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 13985

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 23, 2015 9686

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 22, 2015 7564

Nortonville Man Accused of Selling Drugs near…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 7261

KYDOT Pre-Treating Roads Thursday in Antipation…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 22, 2015 6864

MCEA Head: Further School Mergers Might Ease…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
January 25, 2015 6198

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 26, 2015 6178

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 23, 2015 5986

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 21203

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 20995

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 28, 2015 13985

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 4960

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 4046

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 27, 2015 3776

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Karen McKnight, Hopkins Circuit Clerk
January 28, 2015 2864

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 27, 2015 2146

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 27, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 27, 2015 1710

Power of a Positive Attitude

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
January 27, 2015 1704

NHRA North Central Division Names Dallas Jones…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Telia Butler
January 27, 2015 1693

Whitfield Works to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

in General News For All Sites by Marty Irby
January 27, 2015 1671

Restless Legs Syndrome Affects Many

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 1595

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 28, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 27, 2015 1356

Practice Weather-Related Pet Safety

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News