The History of Halloween

It’s finally spooky season – which means Halloween is at the top of our list of things to talk about! From learning about the holiday, to our favorite beauty guru’s 2021 makeup looks and more – it is one of our favorite times of the year and we’re here to give you all you need to know! For today’s frightening feature, we, at The Modern East, are delving into the haunting history of the holiday that is Halloween. From how it all began to the traditions it has set in stone for what it is today – keep reading to learn all you need to know about the history of Halloween!

Who Celebrated it First?

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

The Day of the Dead

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Dia de los Muertos—the Day of the Dead—is a lively Mexican holiday that draws on indigenous and European traditions. Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. Contrary to what is widely believed, Día de los Muertos is not the Mexican version of Halloween. While they may be related, they are not interchangeable—although, both do involve costumes and festivities and have their roots in ancient customs and practices.

So, what is Halloween?

Over time, with the traditions of the Celtics in mind, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats. The word “Halloween” comes from All Hallows’ Eve and means “hallowed evening.”

Halloween Today

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Halloween is celebrated all around the world in this day and age. With children and adults dressing up in different costumes from their favorite movies or TV shows, and sometimes even being so creative as to come up with their own characters. From trick-or-treating, to parties, festivals, and more – Halloween is one of the world’s most celebrated holidays that is loved by all!

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