The History of Halloween states Halloween originally evolved from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain. This Holiday marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Some believed Samhain also marked a day when the dead crossed over into this world. During Samhain people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft.
By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties, and despite efforts of many communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share in a Halloween celebration. In theory, families could prevent tricks by providing small treats to children.
As time has passed, this holiday has transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a modern day festival, involving “Trick or Treating”, pumpkin carving, costumes, and candy.
- Bobbing for apples dates back to the Celts‘, it was thought that the apple could be used to determine marriages. Young unmarried people would try to bite into an apple floating in water or hanging from a string; the first person to bite into the apple would be the next one to be allowed to marry.
- Pranks have long been a part of Halloween, by the late 1800s, the pranks on Halloween included tipping over outhouses, opening farmers’ gates and egging houses.
- Carving Jack-O-Lanterns came to American from the Irish immigrants, Jack O Lanterns were named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called will-o’-the-wisp or jack-o’-lantern.
- 46% of adults carve pumpkins on Halloween
- Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday.
- 35 million pounds of candy corn is sold annually
- 5 % of Americans dress up their pet for Halloween
- 50% of Americans decorate their yards for Halloween
Denver Electrician Piper Electric Co., Inc. wishes you and your family a safe and Happy Halloween. We hope you enjoyed this brief History of Halloween.
*Taken in part from History.com