Halloween is one of the most beloved holidays of the year. At Halloween, you have made you striking of dressing up in creepy Halloween costumes and Trick-or-treat. Have you ever wondered yourself: Why do we come door-to-door in search of Halloween candies? The answer is complicated, antiquated, and involves the Irish. Let’s find out what is the true meaning behind this tradition?
Americanized Halloween does stem from a pagan tradition — specifically Samhain. The Gaelic holiday celebrates the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, it sounds like “dark part” of the year. It’s also a spooky festival of the dead. During festivals like Samhain, folks would dress up like dead people and demand to be appeased with offerings of cake.
The Catholics lamed it up
In the 8th century, the Catholic influence spread and demanded all pagan celebrations be stamped out and replaced with new traditions, including swapping in All Saints Day, Allhallows Eve, and All Soul’s Day.
After a few centuries, old traditions blended with the new, and much of the old customs from Samhain found their own way.
It wasn’t always candy
Instead of showing up at your doorstep demanding free candies, kids used to have to sing to win a prize. They sang songs on behalf of the dead called “souls.” And people gave them soul cakes. They believe that round Lil’ cakes with crosses on the top that, when devoured, that symbolized a soul escaping from purgatory into heaven.
Halloween at present
For children, dressing up and trick-or-treating door-to-door is still the main event. Adults and Kids in Halloween costumes go around, telling jokes, singing little ditties, and busking for money. Many adults dress up themselves, to go out with their children or to attend costume parties and contests.
Halloween continues to be extremely popular with kids of all ages; 85 to 90 percent of U.S. children go trick-or-treating or engage in other Halloween festivities every year, and many adults also join in on the fun.
Americans have added scary movies, community haunted houses, ghost stories and Ouija boards to the celebration. Greeting cards and festive decorations are also a big part of Halloween.
These traditions preserve Samhain’s spirit of revelry in the face of frightening thoughts of death and the supernatural. Halloween is now celebrated differently in many countries around the world as a result of importing culture.