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The History of Halloween

Winner of a Halloween costume party in 1939.
Happy Halloween!
The History of Halloween - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 1 Star Rating)

It's that time of year again. Break out the evil looking costume and start pounding on some doors for treats. Remember, don't let black cats walk in front of you and watch out for goblins.

Halloween has to be one of the best holidays. You get to dress up and eat all the candy you want! How much more fun could a holiday be? Well, it didn't start out that way. It all began centuries ago in Celtic Ireland...


The Beginning

In the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31st. This was the Celtic New Year and was called Samhain (pronounced sow-en). The story goes that on this day, the spirits of anyone who had died that year would come back looking for living bodies to possess. Celts thought this was the only way to the afterlife. They also believed that all time and space was abruptly suspended on this day so spirits could mingle with the living. The living didn't want to be possessed, so at night on October 31st they put out the fires in their fireplaces, dressed up in freaky, scary costumes and made a big ruckus around the neighborhood so the spirits would be frightened away.


The Evolution

The Romans took over the Celtic tradition of Halloween and eventually the belief in the spirit world died down and dressing up like witches and ghoulish figures became more of a ceremony. In the 1840s, Irish fleeing their country's potato famine brought their Halloween customs with them to America.


Trick or Treat?

Trick or treating is thought to have come from a European custom in the ninth century called souling. Christians used to knock on people's doors and ask for soul cakes. The more cakes they got, the more prayers they would say for dead relatives of people who gave away cakes. Back then, they believed that the dead remained in limbo after death and that prayers would send a person's soul to heaven. Later, children knocked on doors and they were given apples, fruit and other treats instead of cake.


Did U Know?

  • About 99 percent of pumpkins sold in North America are made into jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween.
  • Americans buy about 20 million pounds of candy corn for Halloween every year.
  • 93 percent of American children go trick or treating.
  • New York City hosts the largest Halloween parade in the United States. More than two million people join in on the festivities and another four million tune into the parade on TV!
  • In the US, around 8 percent of pet owners put their furry friends in Halloween costumes.


  • 1 Halloween is just a holiday to hang out with friends. Have a good time and joke but not too much, so no one will get harmed or scared. But you can get them a little scared.
    Kidz Submit by:
    Nickname: oreostar
    Age: 15


    1 Well, me and my friends are going trick-or-treatin' then back to a friend's for scary movies and b-day party and stuff.
    Kidz Submit by:
    Nickname: Dirrrrrrrty
    Age: 13

    What are you doing this Halloween? Going as a scary goblin or a charming princess? Drop us a note below.


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    commented: Mon Nov 25, 2013

    Attie9

    Attie9 wrote:

    This is very interesting
    commented: Sun Nov 24, 2013

    imjustgoingmyownway
    :D
    commented: Tue Nov 19, 2013

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