Halloween Takes New Light

Jordan Marchionna, Reporter

Halloween is celebrated in many countries around the world, but many don’t know the rich history behind it. To most of the community Halloween is about candy, costumes, monsters, and ghouls but they only keep a small bit of the history.

Halloween originally started in Ireland and was previously called samhain (which was a gaelic festival). Samhain was originally christianized as Halloween by the Catholic church in 1745. The Christian religious celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, including going to mass and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, is still celebrated although elsewhere it is a more commercial and traditional celebration.

Throughout Ireland and Britain household festivities included ritual games of death and marriage. A small part of the festivities they did were apple bobbing, nut roasting, carving turnips and many more.

Beginning in the 16th century, Halloween (samhain) included mumming and guising, or wearing of costumes, in Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Wales. The wearing of costumes may come from the belief that the souls of the dead or supernatural beings roamed the earth at this time. The custom has evolved over the years and for many such as junior Jacob Janoski it is their part of the holiday. “I like Halloween because I like to see how creative the children can get with the costumes,” he stated.

Freshman Dylan Snell says, “My favorite thing about Halloween is the history behind it but I don’t like the idea of going door-to-door.” Going door to door is similar to one of the events the Irish did. This involved people going house-to-house in costume, usually reciting verses or songs in exchange for food, which is quite similar to our current celebration of Halloween.

In Ireland they didn’t have pumpkins so they used turnips for Jack-o-lanterns instead. In the 19th century Halloween carried over into US soil because of the Irish immigrating here because of the potatoes famine. Many other countries over the world started to celebrate Halloween as well and it became a national holiday. According to the History Channel, Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday after Christmas.

Today, many people have different beliefs or celebrate the holiday with their own traditions. Freshman Aliza Kineston says, “I love to watch the ‘Nightmare Before Christmas on Halloween.” At the middle school Halloween is celebrated with the annual “Trail of Treats” events. There are other events around Edinboro like the Wooden Nickel Corn Maze, Sparrow Pond Haunted Hayride, and Port Farms Fall Harvest Festival. Here at the high school, the Wellness Club will be sponsoring their annual Zombie Run on October 30.

Halloween is a special holiday that will always be celebrated one way or another. What is your favorite thing about Halloween? Tell us in our online poll.

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