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A Spooky Time of Year

Jocelyn Li

October 31st is a day where creatures of all sorts come to life right in your neighborhood. People of all ages dress in scary and funny costumes, walking from house to house to receive their favorite candies. It’s a Halloween tradition, but mostly only for the Western world.

When, and how, exactly, did Halloween begin? This question is hardly ever pondered by us now—we simply see Halloween as a day for fun and treats. But perhaps the origins of this unique holiday should be studied further by those who tend to forget the initial purpose of Halloween.

Halloween originated in Europe—the Celts of Ireland believed this time of year to be the time when spirits and ghosts came out to haunt the land and people. In order to satisfy and please these spirits, the religious Celts gave them treats and sweets. This practice was brought over to America, eventually evolving into the children’s tradition it is today. Christians from Europe thought that the best method to ease the Americans into accepting the activity was by incorporating it into the local culture. Over time, though the original idea is hardly acknowledged nowadays, this tradition of treat giving to spirits (costumes) has become a large part of our culture.

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