The origin of Halloween dates back 2000 over years. It began with the Celtic celebration of the dead. A Celtic festival was held on November 1, the first day of the Celtic New Year. Specifically, this holiday honors Samhain, the Lord of the Dead. Ancient Celtic people believed the souls of the dead returned on the evening before November 1. The celebration included burning sacrifices and costumes. This early event served as both a celebration of the harvest. At the same time, it also honors dead ancestors.
This Celtic ritual spread throughout Europe in the seventh century. It began with “All Hallows Eve”, the “Night of the Dead”. It is immediately followed by “All Souls Day”, a Christian holy day.
Early Celtic culture included lighting vegetables.
The first lighted vegetables, were carved out of gourds and turnips. Pumpkins came from North America, and had not yet made their way to Europe. European custom also included carving scary faces into the gourds. An ember was placed inside to light them. This was believed to ward of evil spirits, who roamed the streets and the countryside during All Hallow’s Eve.
Halloween history in America, was very much influenced by Irish immigrants. The Irish brought the tradition of carving turnips and even potatoes with them to America. They quickly discovered that pumpkins were bigger and easier to carve. As a result, our Halloween tradition today, is all about carving and lighting pumpkins. Carving Tunips and Rutabagas
Americans spend over $14 billion on costumes, decorations, party supplies and other Halloween paraphernalia!!
Bobbing for Apples is a related Halloween tradition widely popular a few decades ago. It dates back to ancient roman times in honor of the Roman goddess of fruits and apples. Similarly, the tradition of bobbing for apples is a common activity at Halloween parties and fall festivals.